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torah commentary
Interconnectedness is a Jewish value
Parshat Yitro, Exodus 18:1-20:23 The American psyche holds independence in great esteem. Our nation was conceived not by people who saw themselves united in culture or history or through shared anc...
Feb 15, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend
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First steps on the path to the Promised Land
Parshat Beshalach, Exodus 13:17 - 17:16 Redemption! Parshat Beshalach is a Torah portion of glory — glory in the Song at the Sea, the poetic celebration of liberation from Egyptian bondage, and glo...
Feb 09, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend
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Genealogy only goes so far
Parshat Bo, Exodus 10:1-13:16 Why is the killing of the firstborn the final, and most significant, plague? True, it brought death into every household, rattling Egypt at its foundations, but certai...
Feb 01, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend
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A condemnation of one’s own making
Parshat Vaera, Exodus 6:2-9:35 During this past summer I had the opportunity to spend a Shabbat with the Yeshiva High School boys at Camp Twin Echo in the Laurel Highlands. After Shabbat I stopped ...
Jan 25, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 45 45 recommendations | email to a friend
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Moshe’s curious mind
Parshat Shemot, Exodus 1:1-6:1 A new Pharaoh has risen.  The people Israel are enslaved and oppressed, and their very lives are in danger.  Into this frightening reality, a baby is born who then be...
Jan 19, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 47 47 recommendations | email to a friend
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Our top priority: Service to G-d
The Torah portion this week relates a fascinating exchange between father and son. Jacob was lying on his deathbed when he turned to his second to the youngest son, Joseph, whom at the time was the...
Jan 11, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 59 59 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
When the minority gets it right
by Rabbi Moishe Mayir Vogel
Jun 30, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 200 200 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Shelach Numbers, 13:1-15:41 This week’s Torah portion is Shelach, the story of the 12 spies, sent by Moses to explore and learn more about the Promised Land — this land G-d had promised our...
The power — and importance — of words
by Rabbi Yaier Lehrer
Jun 23, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 210 210 recommendations | email to a friend
Aaron and Miriam are speaking to each other. They criticize their brother for having married a Kushite woman.  God becomes angry at their speech and calls them to the Tent of Meeting. He chastises ...
The power of uplift, to make a day brighter
by Rabbi Elchonon Friedman
Jun 15, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 211 211 recommendations | email to a friend
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...
Look into the eyes
by Rabbi Ron Symons
Jun 08, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 208 208 recommendations | email to a friend
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...
A lesson in the importance of connection
by Rabbi Shimon Silver
Jun 02, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 214 214 recommendations | email to a friend
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...
Tending to the ‘invisible’ wound
by Rabbi Aaron Bisno
May 25, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 211 211 recommendations | email to a friend
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...
The importance of the counting of the Omer
by Rabbi Daniel Yolkut
May 18, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 205 205 recommendations | email to a friend
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...
Ascending to holiness
by Rabbi James A. Gibson
May 11, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 192 192 recommendations | email to a friend
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...
Be a brother
by Rabbi Daniel Wasserman
May 05, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 205 205 recommendations | email to a friend
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...
Holidays: God’s gift to us to create lasting memories
by Rabbi Amy Greenbaum
Apr 28, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 207 207 recommendations | email to a friend
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...