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torah commentary
Even the land of Israel must keep the Sabbath
Parashat Behar-Behukotai, Leviticus, 25:1-27:34 “I am the Lord your God who brought you forth from the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan to be your God” (Leviticus 25:38). Citing the ver...
May 17, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend
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When you’re here, you’re family
Parashat Emor Leviticus 21:1-24:23 Since Judaism teaches that all Jews are responsible for each other, the hemorrhaging of the number of diaspora Jews actively involved in Jewish life — or even ide...
May 11, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend
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After death — holiness
Parshat Acharei Mot-Kedoshim Leviticus 16:1-20:27 “Would you like to identify the body?” The question struck me as more than strange. I was a new young rabbi, but knowledgeable enough about Jewish ...
May 04, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend
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It is up to us to stay morally vigilant
Parashat Tazria-Metzora, Leviticus 12:1-15:33 In this week’s Torah reading, Parshas Tazria, we read about tzaraat, commonly mistranslated “leprosy.” This was a miraculous skin eruption that would o...
Apr 27, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend
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Nothing to fear but fear itself
Parashat Shemini, Leviticus 9:1-11:47 This week we read the portion of Shemini, in which the Mishkan, the Tabernacle for the Almighty, is inaugurated and Aaron the High Priest leads the service for...
Apr 20, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend
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Silence is more than golden
Chol Hamoed, Pesach: Exodus 33:12 - 34:26, Numbers 28:19-25 The last days of the festival of Passover are dedicated to the splitting of the Reed Sea, one of the most dramatic and cataclysmic events...
Apr 19, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend
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In trying times, let G-d in, Parashat Toldot
by Beth Jacowitz Chottiner
Dec 01, 2008 | 0 0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend
A family of four walked into a kosher deli. Everyone placed an order with the father ordering a corned beef sandwich on rye and a Cel-Rey — a flavor of Dr. Brown’s soda. A few minutes later, the wa...
Throw away the junk mail, Chayyei Sarah;Genesis 23:1 - 25:20
by Cantor Richard Berlin
Nov 19, 2008 | 0 0 comments | 49 49 recommendations | email to a friend
We all will die. It is a natural part of living, the same as birth is essential to life. This is our lot. What makes the difference is what we do between birth and death. Years ago, I was puzzled a...
On Hold Parshat VaYera, Vayera 18:1-22:24
by Rabbi Eli Seidman
Nov 12, 2008 | 0 0 comments | 49 49 recommendations | email to a friend
We’ve all experienced the annoyance of being put “on hold.” We want to speak with someone and we have to wait. Sometimes, to add insult to injury, we have to listen to Muzak while we wait. I do not...
Abraham spread ‘perfume’ of Judaism, Lech Lecha, Genesis 12:1-17:27
by Rabbi Daniel Kripper
Nov 05, 2008 | 0 0 comments | 51 51 recommendations | email to a friend
This portion begins with God’s command to Abraham: “Go forth from your native land and from your father’s house. ...” This is the genesis of the Jewish saga. But why, one may ask, did it have to be...
The election’s emotional aftermath
Noach, Genesis 6:9 – 11:32
by Rabbi Mark Joel Mahler
Oct 29, 2008 | 0 0 comments | 49 49 recommendations | email to a friend
One year ago on the Jewish calendar, I wrote the D’var Torah for The Jewish Chronicle on this precise parasha, Noach. When I was assigned this Torah portion again for this year, I was tickled by th...
G-d is in need of man
Bereshit, Genesis 1:1-6:8
by Rabbi David Novitsky
Oct 23, 2008 | 0 0 comments | 88 88 recommendations | email to a friend
Several years ago, I had trekked upon a glacier-like surface while I was visiting Iceland. Even though I was mesmerized by this event, I did not fully appreciate the effects of this experience sinc...
On a roof, it’s peaceful can be
by Rabbi Barbara Symons
Oct 15, 2008 | 0 0 comments | 128 128 recommendations | email to a friend
Is it worse to “hit the roof” or “go through the roof”? There are glass ceilings that keep people down. There are drop ceilings that hide things. There is the fiddler on the roof who balances tradi...
Choose to listen
Haazinu, Deuteronomy 32:1-52
by Rabbi Jessica Locketz
Oct 13, 2008 | 0 0 comments | 170 170 recommendations | email to a friend
The Bible ascribes three songs to Moses, two of which are in the Torah: one delivered after Israel crosses the sea to safety at the beginning of their wanderings in the desert, and the other here, ...
Vayeilech : Shabbat Shuvah! “Be Strong and Resolute”
Deuteronomy 31:1–30
by Carol Ochs
Oct 02, 2008 | 0 0 comments | 224 224 recommendations | email to a friend
In Vayeilech, the shortest portion in the Torah, Moses tells the people that he will not be leading them into the Land of Israel, per God’s instruction; instead, Joshua will lead them (Deuteronomy ...
Seeing is believing, among others things
by Rabbi Sharyn Henry
Rodef Shalom Congregation
Sep 25, 2008 | 0 0 comments | 257 257 recommendations | email to a friend
Nitzavim, Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20 In the Elul 16 entry of the Jewels of Elul blog, writer David Suissa tells this story: “I was introduced to the concept of Jewish solidarity when I was 8 years old,...