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torah commentary
What lies beneath
Parshat Tazria-Metzora, Leviticus 12:1-15:33 We often hear it said in conversation that “beauty is only skin deep” and that we should look beyond physical appearance to judge the true character of ...
Apr 23, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend
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What’s for dinner?
Parshat Shemini, Leviticus 9:1-11:47 Parshat Shemini begins with the rites for inaugurating the priesthood and Aaron as the first high priest, certainly a seminal moment in the religious life of th...
Apr 16, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend
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Rabbi Eli Seidman
Acharon Shel Pesach “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead th...
Apr 09, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend
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From slavery to freedom: Pesach and Yom Hashoah
Every year, within a week of emerging from Passover’s journey from slavery to freedom, we gather together as a community to remember and to mourn on Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Memorial Day. The proximi...
Mar 31, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend
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Spiritual cleansing can accompany the physical one
This Shabbat, the last Shabbat before Pesach, is known as Shabbat HaGadol — “the Big Shabbat,” “the Great Shabbat.” The exact origin and purpose of this distinction have been debated by sages for m...
Mar 26, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 48 48 recommendations | email to a friend
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The meaning of ritual
This week we begin the Book of Leviticus: “The Eternal called Moses and spoke to him from the Tent of Meeting, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Israel.’” This book is for the children of Israel. I...
Mar 19, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 57 57 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
Broken promises addressed by Torah
by Rabbi Martin William Shorr, Temple Hadar Israel, New Castle
May 17, 2013 | 2 2 comments | 153 153 recommendations | email to a friend
Naso, Numbers 4:21-7:89 Parsha Naso is interesting. While a great deal of the sedra refers to its name, identifying the offerings and count of the leaders of each tribe, or nasiam, there are isolat...
Our firstborn no longer belong to God
by Rabbi Alex Greenbaum, Beth El Congregation of the South Hills
May 09, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 138 138 recommendations | email to a friend
Bamidbar, Numbers 1:1-4:20 Once upon a time, a long time ago, every firstborn belonged to God. We were always supposed to give the first of all “our fruits” to God, literally. Now, let’s go way bac...
Shabbat as a utopian ideal
by Rabbi Aaron Bisno, Rodef Shalom Congregation
May 02, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 138 138 recommendations | email to a friend
Behar-Behukotai, Leviticus 25:1-27:34 This week’s Torah reading is drawn from a double portion, Behar-Behukotai. Behar is associated with the laws of sabbatical; that is, we are instructed to allow...
You kiss your mother with that mouth? Blasphemy then and now
by Rabbi Scott Aaron, Agency for Jewish Learning
Apr 25, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 131 131 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Emor, Leviticus 21:1 – 24:23 This week’s portion ends with a troubling story of blasphemy, social isolation and death.  (I know … a lot of our Torah portions have troubling stories of blasp...
‘Can’t we all just get along?’
by Rabbi James Gibson, Temple Sinai
Apr 18, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 124 124 recommendations | email to a friend
Achare Mot–Kedoshim, Leviticus 16:1-20:27 Those famous words, “Can’t we all just get along?” were plaintively said by Rodney King, whose beating at the hands of the Los Angeles Police more than 20 ...
Getting it together
by Rabbi Joe Hample, Tree of Life Congregation, Morgantown, W.Va.
Apr 10, 2013 | 1 1 comments | 127 127 recommendations | email to a friend
Tazria-Metzora, Leviticus 12:1-15:33 Just between you and me, I feel a lot of ambivalence.  I’m full of faith and doubt, calm and stress, gloom and hope.  I’m an introverted extrovert, a sloppy per...
That which enters your mouth is also important
by Rabbi David Novitsky, Beth Israel Congregation, Washington, Pa
Apr 04, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 121 121 recommendations | email to a friend
Shemini, Leviticus 9:1-11:47 There are those who believe that the Jewish dietary laws were given to the people of Israel primarily for health concerns.  They maintain that the unclean animals enume...
A lingering lesson
by Rabbi Jessica Locketz, Temple Emanuel of South Hills
Mar 29, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 135 135 recommendations | email to a friend
Chol Hamoed Pesach Without a doubt, Passover is my favorite holiday. Food was always at the center of my family’s celebration and remembrance of our people’s journey from slavery to freedom (yours ...
Hallelu Yah!
by Cantor Richard Berlin, Parkway Jewish Center
Mar 20, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 137 137 recommendations | email to a friend
Shabbat HaGaddol Leviticus 6:1–8:36 This year, Parashat Tzav is also Shabbat HaGaddol — the last Shabbat before Passover. On Monday night, we will all sit down to our first Pesach seder. We’ll ask ...
Some say yes, some say no; I say ‘what if?’ What say you?
by Rabbi Mark Joel Mahler, Temple Emanuel of South Hills
Mar 14, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 139 139 recommendations | email to a friend
Vayikra, Leviticus 1:1-5:26 Every Jew who lived through the Six Day War recalls the thrilling image of Rabbi Shlomo Goren, chief rabbi of the Israel Defense Forces, holding a sefer Torah and blowin...