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torah commentary
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 | 1 1 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 | 2 2 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 | 1 1 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 | 2 2 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 | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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Something’s terribly wrong when a leaf is frightening
Parshat Bechukotai Leviticus 26:3-27:34 Bechukotai — literally “My law” — is the last parshah in Leviticus, functioning as an epilogue to the entire book. Through Moses, the Lord gives the people o...
May 15, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
Pursuing justice is harder than it sounds
by Rabbi James A. Gibson, Temple Sinai
Aug 23, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend
Shofetim, Deuteronomy 16:18-21:19 If we had a top 10 list of popular teachings from Torah, the line from this week’s Torah portion would certainly qualify. It might even make the top five. In setti...
We cannot do as we please
by Rabbi Alex Greenbaum, Beth El Congregation of the South Hills
Aug 16, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend
Reeh Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17 And God said in Deuteronomy 12:8, “You shall not continue to act as you have done so far, everyone doing what is right in her/his own sight.” But then how should we act...
Torah love is more action than feeling
by Rabbi Stephanie Wolfe, Beth Samuel Jewish Center
Aug 09, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend
Ekev, Deuteronomy 7:1 Do you remember your first love?  The one from high school or junior high whom you thought you would be with forever? For most of us, that story didn’t come true.  We learn as...
Deeply penetrating the heart
by Rabbi Ron Symons, Temple Sinai
Aug 02, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend
V’Etchanan, Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11 I am writing these comments from a small faculty bedroom at the Union for Reform Judaism’s (URJ) Camp Harlam in the Poconos.  Harlam is one of 13 camps in the URJ ...
Love without reason trumps senseless hatred
by Rabbi Sharyn Henry, Rodef Shalom Congregation
Jul 26, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend
Devarim, Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22 Last week, The Times of Israel published an article entitled, “Why I’m not fasting on Tisha B’Av this year.” The title arises out of the fact that this year, Tisha B’A...
Invisible realities
by Rabbi Nosson Sachs, UPMC Shadyside
Jul 19, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend
If one were to choose among the greatest benefactors of humanity, Louis Pasteur would certainly rank at the top. He solved the mysteries of rabies, anthrax, chicken cholera and silkworm diseases, a...
Daughters of Zelophehad came before feminism
by Rabbi Martin William Shorr, Temple Hadar Israel
Jul 12, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend
Pinchas, Numbers 25:10-30:1 No need for coming that “long way baby,” G-d already got you there a long time ago. In recent times, more specifically the late 19th to the mid 20th century, women have ...
Klal Yisrael on a Wisconsin campground
by Rabbi Donni C. Aaron, Jewish Community Center
Jul 05, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend
Balak, Numbers 22:2-25:9 Every summer, my family drives to Baraboo, Wis., specifically to the campsites at Devil’s Lake. For the last eight years, we have packed our tents, sleeping bags, bug spray...
The well of Miriam
by Rabbi Eli Seidman
Jun 26, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend
Chukat, Numbers 19:1-22:1
Conversations for the sake of heaven
by Rabbi Aaron B. Bisno, Rodef Shalom Congregation
Jun 21, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend
Korach, Numbers 16:1-18:32