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torah commentary
Imperfect forgiveness
Parshat Vayigash, Genesis 44:18-47:27 The story of Joseph and his brothers is a story of life and death. The brothers seek to destroy Joseph; a famine attacks the land; Joseph as Egyptian prime min...
Jan 05, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend
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A tale of two Yossis
Parshat Miketz, Genesis 41;1-44;17 One of the most remarkable features of the laws of Chanukah is their focus on the home. The Talmud (Shabbat 21a) formulates the core obligation of Chanukah as bei...
Dec 29, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend
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Which is the greater Chanukah miracle?
Parshat Vayeshev, Genesis 37:1-40:23 As we prepare for the festival of Chanukah — which commences at the conclusion of the upcoming Sabbath — it behooves us to revisit the significance of the light...
Dec 21, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend
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The name of a nation — Israel: preparedness and perseverance leads to triumph
Parshat Vayishlach, Genesis 32:4-36:43 The Torah teaches us that Yaakov prepared on three fronts, in the face of the looming confrontation with Eisav. He prepared a gift, to hopefully soften Eisav....
Dec 14, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend
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Dedicated Ugandan rabbi gives us hope, inspiration
Parshat Vayetzei, Genesis 25:19-28:9 Can you imagine, if, in order to make a meal, you had to walk four miles round trip to get the water, another couple of miles to collect the firewood, harvest y...
Dec 08, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 51 51 recommendations | email to a friend
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Do the math
Parshat Toldot, Genesis 25:19-28:9 In my many opportunities to study the Torah with people, either in a group class or individually, I often remind people that as we read and study the verses we mu...
Nov 30, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 58 58 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
The meaning of ritual
by By Rabbi Joe Hample
Mar 19, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 273 273 recommendations | email to a friend
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...
Talented in our own ways
by Rabbi Sara Rae Perman
Mar 12, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 283 283 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayakhel-Pekude, Exodus 38:21-40:38 Every time I have to draw a picture, especially of the map of Israel, my students laugh. I am not an artist. Art was a required course in high school and...
A different Moses emerges for all time
by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin
Mar 05, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 285 285 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Ki Tisa Exodus 30:11-34:35 What is the significance of the dazzling radiance of Moses’ face and why did it not attain this shining glow until he received the second tablets on Yom Kippur? A...
The divine fragrance of memory
by Rabbi Mark Joel Mahler
Feb 26, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 292 292 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Tetzaveh, Exodus 27:20-30:10 The Book of Exodus describes six ritual objects designed for use in the mishkan, the Taberncle: the Ark of the Covenant, the sacrificial altar, the menorah, the...
The gift of Cuban resiliency
by Rabbi Barbara Symons
Feb 18, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 298 298 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Terumah, Exodus 25:1-27:19 “Adonai spoke to Moses, saying: Tell the Israelite people to bring Me gifts; you shall accept gifts for Me from every person whose heart so moves him. And these a...
What makes us count
by Rabbi Jessica Locketz
Feb 12, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 304 304 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Mishpatim, Exodus 21:1-24:18 During my freshman year of college, I was one of the lucky ones. There it was in my mailbox waiting for me to be filled out, waiting for me to answer its many q...
Both procedural and substantive justice thou shall pursue
by Rabbi David Novitsky
Feb 04, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 309 309 recommendations | email to a friend
In this week’s Torah portion, Jethro observes his son-in-law Moses judging the people while they stand and wait morning until evening. Both Moses and the litigants are worn out because of a legal s...
Enemies without and within
by Rabbi James Gibson
Jan 29, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 304 304 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Beshallach, Exodus 13:17-17:16 “From the frying pan into the fire,” we used to say, going from one trouble to another. In this week’s Torah portion, our people experience such an amazing sa...
The divinity in us all
by Rabbi Aaron Benjamin Bisno
Jan 21, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 392 392 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Bo, Exodus 10:1-13:16 This week’s Torah Portion opens with God commanding Moses, bo el paraoh. Most English translations render this decree as, “Go to Pharaoh,” but in Hebrew the imperative...
Acting out of spite
by Rabbi Eli Seidman
Jan 14, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 381 381 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Va’era, Exodus 6:2-9:3 “Pride comes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.” (Proverbs 16:18) C.S. Lewis: “For pride is spiritual cancer: It eats up the very possibility ...