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torah commentary
The power of uplift, to make a day brighter
Parshat Nasso, Numbers 4:21-7:89 A few weeks ago at a shiva home, I heard a bereaved mother speak lovingly of her beloved daughter, Rivka. She related how, until Rivka’s funeral, she hadn’t fully a...
Jun 15, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend
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Look into the eyes
Parshat Bamidbar, Numbers 1:1-4:20 It was quite an endeavor. Moses was commanded to count every male of Israel over the age of 20 who was able to serve in the army. He was some 82 years old and rec...
Jun 08, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend
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A lesson in the importance of connection
Parshat Bechukotai, Leviticus 26:3-27:34 The primary focus of the first half of this parsha is the connection between observing the Torah and meriting peace and tranquility in Israel. Or, G-d forbi...
Jun 02, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend
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Tending to the ‘invisible’ wound
Parshat Behar, Leviticus 25:1-26:2 There is a new hashtag trending on social media.   The tag is #maybehedoesnthityou , and it offers women a chance to share their experience with domestic violence...
May 25, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend
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The importance of the counting of the Omer
Parshat Emor, Leviticus 21:1-24:23 In this week’s Torah portion, Emor, we encounter a timely mitzvah — the counting of the Omer. The Torah commands that starting with the second day of Passover, ev...
May 18, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend
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Ascending to holiness
Parshat Kedoshim, Leviticus 19:1-20:27 So, just how do we do it? We are given a direct order in the very beginning of our parshah, kedoshim tihiyu, ki kadosh ani — “you shall be holy for I (your Go...
May 11, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
The challenge of righteousness 
by Barbara Binder Kadden Temple Beth El, Tacoma, Wash
Oct 17, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 80 80 recommendations | email to a friend
Noach, Genesis 6:9–11:32 “This is Noah’s chronicle. Noah was a righteous man; in his generation, he was above reproach; Noah walked with God” Genesis 6:9 The Rabbis have long debated this verse que...
Lost in the stars?
by Cantor Richard Berlin, Parkway Jewish Center
Oct 17, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 81 81 recommendations | email to a friend
Bereshit, Genesis 1:1 –6:8 “When God began to create heaven and earth….” We return once again to repeat our cycle of Torah. Torah and its many commentaries assure us that God and humans are in a re...
To see God’s faces
by Rabbi Mark Joel Mahler, Temple Emanuel of South Hills
Oct 04, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 84 84 recommendations | email to a friend
Shabbat Chol HaMoed Sukkot “You cannot see My face, for no one shall see Me and live.” This declaration is as emphatic as any in the Torah.  God issues it in response to Moses’ plea, “Oh, let me be...
The time is now
by Rabbi Jessica Locketz, Temple Emanuel of South Hills
Sep 27, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 84 84 recommendations | email to a friend
Haazinu, Deuteronomy 32:1-52 This week, we read from Parashat Haazinu. In it, Moses speaks words of poetry, a beautiful poem highlighting his last words to the children of Israel. After Moses finis...
Take one step after another
by Rabbi David Novitsky, Beth Israel Congregation, Washington, Pa.
Sep 20, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 84 84 recommendations | email to a friend
Shabbat Shuva Deuteronomy 31:1-30 Most wrongful conduct consists of both a trespass against a fellow person and a sin against G-d. On these days of penitence and specifically on Shabbat Shuva we ar...
‘Standing for something’
by Rabbi Audrey R. Korotkin, Temple Beth Israel, Altoona
Sep 12, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 52 52 recommendations | email to a friend
Nitzavim, Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20 One of the most clever High Holy Day newspaper ads I ever saw was a display box that read, from top to bottom:  “Sit - Stand - Sit - Stand - Sit - Stand - Come sit ...
Some things are required, not desired
by Rabbi Scott Aaron, Agency for Jewish Learning
Sep 06, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 54 54 recommendations | email to a friend
Ki Tavo, Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8 This week’s Torah portion begins with the instructions for personal tithing. The “first fruits” of the harvest of ground vegetation (onions, garlic, lettuce, etc.) ar...
The mitzvot of kindness
by Rabbi Eli Seidman, Jewish Association on Aging
Aug 30, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 56 56 recommendations | email to a friend
Ki Tzeitzei, Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19 The world is built through kindness … — Psalm 89:3 Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.  — Plato When I was young, I admired clever people....
Pursuing justice is harder than it sounds
by Rabbi James A. Gibson, Temple Sinai
Aug 23, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 54 54 recommendations | email to a friend
Shofetim, Deuteronomy 16:18-21:19 If we had a top 10 list of popular teachings from Torah, the line from this week’s Torah portion would certainly qualify. It might even make the top five. In setti...
We cannot do as we please
by Rabbi Alex Greenbaum, Beth El Congregation of the South Hills
Aug 16, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 52 52 recommendations | email to a friend
Reeh Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17 And God said in Deuteronomy 12:8, “You shall not continue to act as you have done so far, everyone doing what is right in her/his own sight.” But then how should we act...