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torah commentary
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 | 15 15 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 | 25 25 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 | 36 36 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 | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend
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Where there is no leader, strive to be a leader
Parashat Sheleach, Numbers 13:1-15:41 In the first aliyah of this week’s parshah Shelach Lecha, God speaks to Moses telling him to “send men … everyone a leader among them” to spy upon the land. Th...
Jun 14, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend
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Seeking the right kind of leader
Parashat Beha'alotcha, Numbers 8:1-12:16 The Jewish people seemed poised for entry into the Promised Land when suddenly, “the nation became a group of kvetchers, complaining evilly in the ears of t...
Jun 07, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 64 64 recommendations | email to a friend
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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 | 95 95 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 | 141 141 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 | 192 192 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 | 253 253 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 | 290 290 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,...
A twist on a fringe
by Rabbi Ron Symons
Temple Sinai
Ki Tetze, Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19
Sep 11, 2008 | 0 0 comments | 333 333 recommendations | email to a friend
A French Catholic priest was once visiting a synagogue similar to ours. He noted, “That which revealed itself to me at that moment was not at all the Jewish religion. It was the Jewish people. The ...