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torah commentary
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 | 2 2 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 | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Be a brother
Parshat Acharei Mot, Leviticus 16:1-18:30 On the day that Aharon HaKohen —Aaron the High Priest — was to celebrate the ascension of himself and his family to the priesthood, he suffered what was pe...
May 05, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Holidays: God’s gift to us to create lasting memories
Exodus 13:17-15:26, Numbers 28:19-28:25 Before we eat that first bite of pizza Saturday night, I am going to remember how fortunate we are to have had these eight days of matzah! Do we have a lot o...
Apr 28, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend
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Pesach offers chance to celebrate true freedom
Passover Exodus 12:21-12:51, Numbers 28:16-28:25 As we approach the holiday of Pesach, I would like to draw your attention to one of the holiday’s most powerful messages. The holiday of Pesach is a...
Apr 21, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend
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Hunger on the verge
Parshat Metzora, Leviticus 14:1-15:33 Shabbat Hagadol Toward the beginning of the Passover seder, we raise the matzahs and say, “Ha lachma anya — This the is bread of …” what? Is it the bread of af...
Apr 14, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
Ha’azinu ode on a biblical urn
by Rabbi David C. Novitsky
Sep 24, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Ha’azinu Deuteronomy 32:1 - 32:52 This week’s Torah portion of Ha’azinu contains a poetic narrative, and then in its conclusion it describes the last days of Moses’ life as he stood on Moun...
The gift of our words
by Rabbi Jessica Locketz
Sep 16, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayelech, Deuteronomy 29:9-31:30 “Turn, O Israel, toward the Eternal, your God, that you may confess to your transgressions. Take with you words and turn to God saying, sweep away in forgiv...
With help, support and inspiration
by Rabbi Barbara AB Symons
Sep 09, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend
What are the prerequisites to convert to Judaism? If you could choose, what would they be? While some of our denominations have a very clear answer, others are more flexible. As a Reform rabbi, I h...
Choosing a path
by Rabbi Eli Seidman
Sep 02, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Ki Tavo, Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8 A person is led on the path that he (or she) truly wants to travel on. (Talmud Makkot 10b) If a person comes to purify him (or her) self, he (or she) will be ...
Cultivating compassion
by Rabbi Bryna Milkow
Aug 27, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend
Ki Tetzei, Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19 Among the 72 mitzvot that are delineated in the parasha of Ki Tetzei, there is one that some consider to be an “easy” mitzvah. In Deuteronomy 22:6-7 we learn, “If...
Righteousness, justice
by Rabbi Sara Rae Perman
Aug 19, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend
Parashat Shoftim, Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9, Isaiah 51:12-52:12 This year, I was fortunate to spend my eighth summer at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem studying with about 170 colleagues fro...
For the children
by Rabbi Joe Hample
Aug 12, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Re’eh, Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17 We’re at the start of another year: or are we?  The civil year doesn’t begin till January.  But the Jewish year begins in just about a month, and the public s...
The spiritual dimension
by Rabbi Sharyn Henry
Aug 05, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Ekev, Deuteronomy 11:22-11:25 This week’s portion (Ekev) contains one of the most famous phrases in the book of Deuteronomy, although many people might be surprised to find that its origin ...
The joy of comfort
by Rabbi Jonathan Perlman
Jul 30, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend
Recently, I saw the new Pixar movie “Inside Out,” an animated film for children with a lesson for adults.  Most of the film takes place inside the brain of Riley, an 11-year-old girl who is moving ...
What is your will?
by Rabbi Paul Tuchman
Jul 23, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend
Parashat Devarim, Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22; Isaiah 1:1-27 Have you made your will? Perhaps you have made the will in which you dispose of your financial and physical estate. But have you made your ethi...