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torah commentary
Being there in spirit
Parshat Matot Numbers 30:2-32:42 In this week’s Torah portion, representatives of the Tribes of Reuben and Gad approach Moses. They have prospered on the east side of the Jordan. They have many her...
Jul 16, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Seeing the big picture need not require standing on the vista
Parshat Pinchas Numbers 25:10-30:1 In this week’s Torah portion, God commands Moses to ascend the hills from the other side of the Jordan River and look into the land of Israel. God reminds him tha...
Jul 10, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Routine decisions can point us in the right direction
Parshat Balak Numbers 22:2-25:9 In this week’s Torah reading, King Balak of Moab retains the sorcerer Balaam to curse the Jewish people. Instead of curses, only blessings come out of his mouth. Whe...
Jul 03, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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In each generation ...
Parshat Chukat Numbers 19:1-22:1 One of the major events related in Parshat Chukat is the death of Miriam, the older sister of Moses and Aaron. Immediately after this, we read that the Israelites w...
Jun 26, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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How can things go wrong? Let me count the ways
German is the most frustrating language. I’ve done Russian, French and Hebrew. I’ve learned new alphabets, switched from left to right. But nothing beats a complex German sentence to make a new stu...
Jun 12, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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Jerusalem the Holy
R Bamidbar The capital cities of every nation on earth are built on major trade routes or rivers.   They became capitals because they were centers of commerce and easily accessible. Jerusalem is th...
May 21, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
That last bite of matzah has a special message
by Rabbi Barbara Symons, Temple David, Monroeville
Mar 19, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend
Shemini, Leviticus 9:1-11:47 The countdown to Passover is on. With that in mind, what will we do this year to make Passover less about food — especially decadent chocolate cakes preceded by a multi...
The Purim paradox: Now more than ever
by Rabbi Mark Joel Mahler, Temple Emanuel of South Hills
Mar 12, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend
Shabbat Zachor, Leviticus 6:1-8:36 One of my rabbis in seminary told this story: While serving as an Army chaplain, a soldier professed to him, “I believe every word in the Bible!” The rabbi replie...
Little alephs need our help
by Rabbi Sara Rae Perman, Congregation Emanu-El Israel, Greensburg
Mar 06, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend
Vayikra, Leviticus 1:1-5:26 In this week’s parshah, which is the beginning of the book of Leviticus, we have something very unusual in the Torah scroll.  The first word, Vayikra, which means “And H...
Holy housewarming can strengthen community
by Rabbi Joe Hample, Tree of Life Congregation, Morgantown, W.Va.
Feb 26, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend
Suppose you fell in love, and wanted your beloved to move in with you.  You would probably arrange the residence exactly the way s/he likes it, with the furniture positioned and the tchotchkes depl...
Life is most precious, but don’t diminish art’s value
by Rabbi David Katz Temple Ohav Shalom, Allison Park
Feb 19, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend
Vayakhel, Exodus 35:1-38:20 In 1980, when I began to date my wife, Nancy, she was already an accomplished painter, and her students were exhibiting at the Guggenheim Museum.  I liked her because sh...
We are all reflections of the Divine
by Rabbi Sharyn Henry, Rodef Shalom Congregation
Feb 14, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend
Ki Tissa, Exodus 30:11-34:35 I recently had the option of purchasing the same bracelet in either silver or copper. The silver version was more expensive and elegant. There was something compelling,...
You light up my life
by Rabbi Michael Werbow, Congregation Beth Shalom
Feb 06, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend
Tetzaveh, Exodus 27:20-30:10 When one sits down to study Torah, there is much uncertainty as to where he will find meaning.  When a person takes the opportunity to study the weekly parshah, she ope...
Beyond the synagogue: Prayers with the seriously ill
by Rabbi Jonathan Perlman, New Light Congregation
Jan 30, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend
In my work as a multifaith chaplain for Forbes Hospice, I’ve encountered many elderly people who have become disconnected with their home church or synagogue.  Some of them are ill, but many are pe...
Talking and walking, they need each other
by Rabbi Paul Tuchman, Temple B’nai Israel, White Oak
Jan 22, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend
Mishpatim, Exodus 21:1-24:18 With the portion Mishpatim, the narrative parts of the Torah are now largely behind us. There are more stories scattered throughout the remainder, but from now through ...
We can’t do it all alone
by Cantor Henry Shapiro, Parkway Jewish Center
Jan 15, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend
This week’s parsha, of Yitro, has two main topics. The first concerns the visit of Yitro, the father-in-law of Moses. The second is the revelation at Mount Sinai and the Ten Commandments. Certainly...