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torah commentary
Monotheism and the problem of truth
Shabbat Nachamu, Parshat Etchanon, Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11 “You shall have no other gods beside Me!” This is the first of aseret hadibrot, literally the “Ten Declarations” or “Ten Commandments” found...
Aug 18, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend
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The gift of ‘Solomon’s time’
Shabbat Chazon, Parshat Devarim Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22 Every year, Jews, as we have for more than two millenia, observe the fast of the Ninth of Av, marking the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash, the...
Aug 10, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend
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(Re)ordering our priorities
Parshat Mattot-Masei, Numbers 30:2-36:13 In this week’s double portion, Matot-Ma’asei, it seems that our biblical ancestors have questionable priorities. As plans get underway for the eventual move...
Aug 03, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend
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The importance of a unified community
Parshat Pinchas, Numbers 25:10-30:1 This parshah seems to be a hodgepodge of loosely connected or disconnected themes. The reward for Pinchas, the order to attack Midian (that actual attack is defe...
Jul 28, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend
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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 | 35 35 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 | 45 45 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
‘Were you honest?’
by Rabbi James A. Gibson
Mar 10, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 74 74 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Pekudei, Exodus 38:21-40:38 In the Babylonian Talmud, tractate Shabbat 31a, we learn that after we die and ascend to the Divine realm, we are asked questions to determine our fitness to ent...
The best investment: charity
by Rabbi David Novitzky
Mar 03, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 72 72 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Va-Yakhel, Exodus 35:1-38:20 Shabbat Shekalim I am not at all astute concerning anything to do with financial investing, but I do believe that we are living in very turbulent economic times...
Everybody counts
by Rabbi Alex Greenbaum
Feb 24, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 73 73 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Ki Tisa, Exodus 30:11-34:35 This we week read Parshat Ki Tisa. Sure, I could focus on something interesting, like the Golden Calf or the Second Set of Tablets or even the 13 Attributes Of G...
Power of the pomegranate
by Rabbi Barbara AB Symons
Feb 17, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 74 74 recommendations | email to a friend
It is hard to open a pomegranate. There are YouTube videos explaining how to do it, which can come in handy given the pre-eminence given to this luscious, anti-oxidant, symbolic fruit. Not only is ...
Boxing God
by Rabbi Mark Joel Mahler
Feb 10, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 79 79 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Terumah, Exodus: 25:1-27:19 Imagine putting God in a box. Impossible? Not according to Parshat Terumah. Terumah delineates the specifications of this box, its dimensions and how it was made...
Double restitution
by Rabbi Eli Seidman
Feb 03, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 79 79 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Mishpatim, Exodus 21:1-24:18 One of the many laws we find in this week’s Torah portion of Mishpatim is the law of double restitution. The Torah tells us: If a thief is caught and the stolen...
Jumping in … for redemption
by Rabbi Joe Hample
Jan 20, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 78 78 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Beshalach, Exodus 13:17-17:6 I spent a couple of years as a prison chaplain in California. It wasn’t exactly the job rabbinical school prepared me for, but it had its moments. I’ll say this...
To teach our children
by Rabbi James A. Gibson
Jan 13, 2016 | 1 1 comments | 80 80 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Bo, Exodus 10:1-13:16 We get to the heart of the matter in the second verse of our Parsha, Bo. Moses and Aaron are instructed to go before Pharaoh even though God will harden his heart to t...
What always changes yet ever remains the same?
by Rabbi Mark Joel Mahler
Jan 07, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 80 80 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vaera, Exodus 6:2-9:35 Sometime circa 1987, my uncle sent me a video cassette (remember them?) of a home movie he had made with his 8-mm camera (remember them?) of my family’s Fourth of Jul...
The wonder of life
by Cantor Henry Shapiro
Dec 30, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 80 80 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Shemot, Exodus 1:1-6:1 As we open a new book, a new season, a new year, I can’t help but feel we’re in a movie sequel. We have a new generation and a new cast of characters, yet the details...