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torah commentary
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 | 16 16 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 | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend
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Only God blesses and we are all holy
Parashat Naso, Numbers 4:21-7:89 “That man has no right to bless me! He’s a no-good good-for-nothing!” Ah, the good old days. The days of duchening. The days when the Kohanim (those of priestly lin...
Jun 01, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend
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The degalim: an orchestra in harmony
Parashat Bamidbar, Numbers 1:1-4:20 In the parsha, we read of the instructions to Israel on how to camp and travel. They were arranged around the central point, the mishkan, the tabernacle. Each tr...
May 24, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 52 52 recommendations | email to a friend
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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 | 52 52 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 | 62 62 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
Pushing the limits
by Rabbi Doris J. Dyen
Oct 28, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 358 358 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayera, Genesis 18:1-22:24 How do we act when we’re under great pressure? What hidden strengths come out — and what weaknesses — as we navigate through rough times? Parshat Vayera invites u...
What’s in a name?
by Cantor Michal Gray-Schaffer
Oct 22, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 356 356 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Lech Lecha, Genesis 12:1-17:27 This week, Parshat Lech Lecha, translated as “go forth,” chronicles the earliest part of the Abraham and Sarah biblical narrative. However, at the time of Ado...
We are not a country club
by Rabbi Alex Greenbaum
Oct 14, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 357 357 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Noach, Genesis 6:9-11:32 Noah wasn’t Jewish. I find it interesting that our Torah began last week with Adam, not Abraham. It began with the first person, not the first Jew. We seem to forge...
Look to mythical truth for purposeful life
Oct 07, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 359 359 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Bereishit, Genesis 1:1-6:8 This week we begin reading the Book of Genesis. We turn to this first book of the Torah as a template to explore some of the most important concepts in Judaism, n...
Holy history or sacred seeds?
by Rabbi James A. Gibson
Oct 01, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 359 359 recommendations | email to a friend
Shabbat Chol Ha-Moed Sukkot 33:12-34:26 The Three Festivals we celebrate are powerful connectors of the Jewish people across time and space. Sukkot, Pesach and Shavuot each provide essential connec...
Ha’azinu ode on a biblical urn
by Rabbi David C. Novitsky
Sep 24, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 358 358 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Ha’azinu Deuteronomy 32:1 - 32:52 This week’s Torah portion of Ha’azinu contains a poetic narrative, and then in its conclusion it describes the last days of Moses’ life as he stood on Moun...
The gift of our words
by Rabbi Jessica Locketz
Sep 16, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 362 362 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayelech, Deuteronomy 29:9-31:30 “Turn, O Israel, toward the Eternal, your God, that you may confess to your transgressions. Take with you words and turn to God saying, sweep away in forgiv...
With help, support and inspiration
by Rabbi Barbara AB Symons
Sep 09, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 361 361 recommendations | email to a friend
What are the prerequisites to convert to Judaism? If you could choose, what would they be? While some of our denominations have a very clear answer, others are more flexible. As a Reform rabbi, I h...
Choosing a path
by Rabbi Eli Seidman
Sep 02, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 364 364 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Ki Tavo, Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8 A person is led on the path that he (or she) truly wants to travel on. (Talmud Makkot 10b) If a person comes to purify him (or her) self, he (or she) will be ...
Cultivating compassion
by Rabbi Bryna Milkow
Aug 27, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 366 366 recommendations | email to a friend
Ki Tetzei, Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19 Among the 72 mitzvot that are delineated in the parasha of Ki Tetzei, there is one that some consider to be an “easy” mitzvah. In Deuteronomy 22:6-7 we learn, “If...