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torah commentary
Words for us to hear
Parshat Va’etchanan Deuteronomy 3:23–7:11 What is the most universally known Hebrew phrase in the Jewish tradition? If you’ve been to a lot of Jewish weddings and b’nai mitzvah ceremonies, you migh...
Aug 04, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend
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Living wills offer sense of strength, wholeness
Parshat Matot-Masei, Numbers 30:2-31:12 My son Harrison thinks it is strange when I say that helping families through the dying process and a funeral is one of the most rewarding parts of my rabbin...
Jul 21, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend
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The key to Jewish survival
Parashat Pinchas, Numbers 25:10-30:1 When the Torah counts the Jewish people in this week’s Parsha (Pinchas), each family is counted individually. When the Torah says the name of each family, it pr...
Jul 12, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 50 50 recommendations | email to a friend
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When a curse is transformed into a prayer
Parashat Balak, Numbers 22:2-25:9 What would we find in the Torah were we to open it up and look through its pages? Many would suggest we’d find “prayers.” As it happens, there are actually very fe...
Jul 05, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 56 56 recommendations | email to a friend
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The importance of acceptance
Parashat Chukat, Numbers 19:1-22:1 In the beginning of this week’s Torah portion, we break from the historical narrative of the Jewish people wandering in the desert. The Torah pauses to tell us a ...
Jun 28, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 49 49 recommendations | email to a friend
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A new sheriff in town? Not so fast
Parshat Korach, Numbers 16:1–18:32 Since the beginning of recorded time there have always been political challenges to the leadership and the establishment of every society and institution. Moses a...
Jun 22, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 74 74 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
Do the math
by Rabbi Daniel Wasserman
Nov 30, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 229 229 recommendations | email to a friend
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...
Because we love, we grieve
by Rabbi Sharyn Henry
Nov 23, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 239 239 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Chayei Sarah, Genesis 23:1-25:18 Our matriarch Sarah dies in the beginning of the Torah portion Chayei Sarah, and Abraham dies at the end. In between, we read about the events leading to th...
Despite all obstacles, never give up
by Rabbi Levi Langer
Nov 17, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 236 236 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayera, Genesis 18:1-22:24 In this week’s Torah portion our forefather Abraham undergoes the greatest challenge of his life: He is called upon to surrender his son to the Almighty.  Abraham...
The making of a covenant with men and women
by Dr. Ellen M. Umansky
Nov 10, 2016 | 1 1 comments | 247 247 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Lech Lecha, Genesis 12:1-17:28 Almost 25 years after God calls Abram to leave his home in Mesopotamia and go to the land of Canaan, God formally establishes a covenant with him. Like that e...
Being the right kind of agnostic
by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin
Nov 02, 2016 | 1 1 comments | 252 252 recommendations | email to a friend
Parashat Noach, Genesis 6:9-11:32 When it comes to questions of belief, the agnostic is the loneliest of all. On one side of the fence stands the atheist, confident in his rejection of God and ofte...
Being a part of creation without destroying it
by Rabbi Barbara AB Symons
Oct 27, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 268 268 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Bereshit, Genesis 1:1-6:8 In six days, God created the world and then rested. However, we have not rested. We God-inspired humans use technology, competition and at times hubris to continue...
Happiness is a choice, not a chase
by Rabbi Mendy Schapiro
Oct 19, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 267 267 recommendations | email to a friend
Shabbat Sukkot, Leviticus 22:26-23:44, Numbers 29:12 - 29:16 This brief but bold phrase that has become such a part of the fabric of our society seems in some way to mirror our Jewish holidays of t...
A failure of leadership and Moses’ downfall
by Rabbi Reuven Firestone
Oct 13, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 274 274 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Ha’azinu, Deuteronomy 32:1-52 This is one of the shorter sections of the Torah, and it is made up almost entirely of a breathtaking and chastening poem. The term “awesome” tends to be overu...
Yom Kippur as festive wedding day
by Rabbi Yisroel Altein
Oct 05, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 285 285 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayeilech, Deuteronomy 31:1-31:30 This week we will be celebrating Yom Kippur. More Jews will be going to a synagogue on this day than any other day in the year. How can we be sure that we ...
Standing together for what is right
by Rabbi Chuck Diamond
Sep 28, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 294 294 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Nitzavim, Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20 Atem nitzavim hayom kulchem — these words that I practiced over and over again some 48 years ago as I trained for my bar mitzvah. These words that my whole ...