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torah commentary
Monotheism and the problem of truth
Shabbat Nachamu, Parshat Etchanon, Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11 “You shall have no other gods beside Me!” This is the first of aseret hadibrot, literally the “Ten Declarations” or “Ten Commandments” found...
Aug 18, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend
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The gift of ‘Solomon’s time’
Shabbat Chazon, Parshat Devarim Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22 Every year, Jews, as we have for more than two millenia, observe the fast of the Ninth of Av, marking the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash, the...
Aug 10, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend
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(Re)ordering our priorities
Parshat Mattot-Masei, Numbers 30:2-36:13 In this week’s double portion, Matot-Ma’asei, it seems that our biblical ancestors have questionable priorities. As plans get underway for the eventual move...
Aug 03, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend
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The importance of a unified community
Parshat Pinchas, Numbers 25:10-30:1 This parshah seems to be a hodgepodge of loosely connected or disconnected themes. The reward for Pinchas, the order to attack Midian (that actual attack is defe...
Jul 28, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend
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Miracle tales
Parshat Balak, Numbers 22:2-25:9 “How lovely are your tents, O Jacob; your encampments, O Israel!” These beloved words in praise of Jewish community, which have become part of our everyday liturgy,...
Jul 21, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 38 38 recommendations | email to a friend
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Communal living a suprarational command
Parshat Chukat Numbers 19:1-22:1 Is it more important to devote oneself to personal, spiritual develop­ment or to work for the good of the nation? I believe that a good argument can be made that co...
Jul 13, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 48 48 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
Joseph, the wonder boy
by Rabbi Jonathan Perlman
Dec 23, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 82 82 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayechi, Genesis 47:28-50:26 Joseph is not shy about sharing his dreams and prophecies with the public. He understands prophecy as a gift that ought to guide and give vision to his growing ...
A public figure’s private life: ‘Inquiring minds want to know’
by Rabbi Paul Tuchman
Dec 17, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 81 81 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayigash, Genesis 44:18-47:27 “Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, ‘Have everyone withdraw from me!’ So there was no one else about when Jose...
Chanukah: ours, theirs or something else
by Rabbi Sara Rae Perman
Dec 09, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 81 81 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Miketz, Genesis 41:1 - 44:17 There is a Christmas song entitled “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”  For us Jews, I disagree. This time of year can be confusing, difficult, but not ...
The dreamers among us
by Rabbi Seth Adelson
Dec 03, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 84 84 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayyeshev, Genesis 37:1-40:23 “You may say I’m a dreamer / But I’m not the only one” Embedded in John Lennon’s idealistic song is a little dig at dreamers: The line suggests that to call so...
Humility and Thanksgiving
by Rabbi Eli Seidman
Nov 24, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 85 85 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat VaYishlach, Genesis 32:4-36:43 Humility is the solid foundation of all virtues. — Confucius Our forefather Jacob feared his upcoming reunion with his brother Esau. Years before, Esau had vo...
Let’s make a deal!
by Rabbi Howard Stein
Nov 19, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 83 83 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayetsei, Genesis 28:10-32:3 In this week’s portion, parashat Vayetsei, it seems that everyone is trying to pull a fast one on someone else. Laban tricks Jacob into marrying Leah instead of...
‘A Prophetess Among Us’
by Rabbi Audrey R. Korotkin
Nov 10, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 87 87 recommendations | email to a friend
In the Hitchcock classic “Psycho,” we are treated to a grand misdirection. For the first half-hour of the film, we follow the story of Marion Crane, a bored and frustrated Phoenix secretary who ste...
What will they say when?
by Rabbi Ron Symons
Nov 05, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 81 81 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Chayei Sara, 23:1-25:18 Not to be morbid, but it is time for me to start thinking about what they might say at my funeral. Trust me, I have many years left (God willing), but it is still ti...
Pushing the limits
by Rabbi Doris J. Dyen
Oct 28, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 84 84 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayera, Genesis 18:1-22:24 How do we act when we’re under great pressure? What hidden strengths come out — and what weaknesses — as we navigate through rough times? Parshat Vayera invites u...
What’s in a name?
by Cantor Michal Gray-Schaffer
Oct 22, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 81 81 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Lech Lecha, Genesis 12:1-17:27 This week, Parshat Lech Lecha, translated as “go forth,” chronicles the earliest part of the Abraham and Sarah biblical narrative. However, at the time of Ado...