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torah commentary
Miracle tales
Parshat Balak, Numbers 22:2-25:9 “How lovely are your tents, O Jacob; your encampments, O Israel!” These beloved words in praise of Jewish community, which have become part of our everyday liturgy,...
Jul 21, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend
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Communal living a suprarational command
Parshat Chukat Numbers 19:1-22:1 Is it more important to devote oneself to personal, spiritual develop­ment or to work for the good of the nation? I believe that a good argument can be made that co...
Jul 13, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend
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The importance of memory, especially to our history
Parshaht Korach, Numbers 16:1-18:32 In this week’s Torah portion, a rebellion breaks out against Moses’ leadership, led by the Levite Korach, Reubenites Dathan and Abiram and 250 chieftains of the ...
Jul 06, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend
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When the minority gets it right
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...
Jun 30, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend
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The power — and importance — of words
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 ...
Jun 23, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend
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The power of uplift, to make a day brighter
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...
Jun 15, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 41 41 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
Return again
Sep 30, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 283 283 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Nitzavim/Vayelech Deuteronomy 29:9-31:30 “Atah nitzavim, you are standing, all of you, this day before God. You, your leaders, and the most humble of the people.” So begins this week’s Tora...
The importance of ethical wills
by Rabbi Paul Tuchman
Sep 28, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 285 285 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Ha’azinu Deuteronomy 32:1-52 At the end of his life, Moses addresses us, the Israelites, for the last time in the Torah portion of Ha’azinu. He recounts the blessings that we have enjoyed a...
Know it in your heart
by Rabbi Jessica E. Locketz
Sep 09, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 289 289 recommendations | email to a friend
Parsaht Ki Tavo Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8 How long is a minute? When I was a child, my friends and I would test each other: Did we know how long a minute was? Of course we knew that a minute equaled 60...
An easy choice?
by Rabbi Alex Greenbaum, Beth El Congregation of the South Hills
Aug 21, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 278 278 recommendations | email to a friend
Parashat Re'eh “And God said, I have set before you today a choice: a blessing or a curse.” Now who in their right mind would choose a curse over a blessing? Throughout our Torah there are many lis...
Using our memories as a guide
by Rabbi Barbara AB Symons, Temple David
Aug 13, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 264 264 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Ekev Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25 When you look back at the current conflict in Israel, what will you remember? Will it be a focus on the missiles coming into Israel or those going out?  On Iron ...
Change of Mood
by Rabbi Eli Seidman
Aug 06, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 278 278 recommendations | email to a friend
After the tragedy of Tisha B’Av, our mood changes. This Shabbat is called Shabbat Nachamu, the Shabbat of Consolation. It takes its name from the words of Isaiah: “Comfort ye, comfort ye, My people...
Reason together
by Rabbi Joe Hample
Aug 01, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 276 276 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Devarim Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22 My spiritual quest began in my lonely college years. If my peers didn’t understand me, maybe God would. I got involved with Hillel, took some Hebrew, went on a ...
Meaningful midrash of Tisha B’av
by Rabbi Eli Seidman
Aug 01, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 269 269 recommendations | email to a friend
The story of Kansa and Bar Kamsa (Talmud Gittin, 55) illustrates the divided nature of the Jewish people that ultimately led to the terrible destruction of our Holy Temple in Jerusalem on Tisha B’a...
Israel’s borders – from Torah or diplomacy?
by Rabbi James Gibson, Temple Sinai
Jul 24, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 187 187 recommendations | email to a friend
Mas’ei Numbers 33.1-36.15 In Mas-ei, which ends the book of Bemidar, our Torah outlines specific borders to the land promised by God to our people, a promise extending all the way back to Avraham a...
Being there in spirit
by Rabbi Jessica E. Locketz
Jul 16, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 184 184 recommendations | email to a friend
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...