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Tag: Deuteronomy

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  • Our rightful place: Parashat Ki Teitze (Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19)

    By Rabbi Yonah Bookstein

    August 14, 2013 | 2:04 pm

    “If you should see your friend’s ox or sheep straying, don’t ignore them. Instead return them to your friend. But if your friend is not close by, or you don’t know the owner, bring it to your home and hold onto it until the owner finds you, and then return it to them” (Deuteronomy...

  • Glatt or not? Parashat Re’eh (Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17)

    By Rabbi Dov Fischer

    August 1, 2013 | 11:33 am

    The Torah says that the laws of kashrut separate us from the nations and make us a holy people by precluding us from eating detestable things (Deuteronomy 14:2-3, 21). Inasmuch as kashrut is a defining aspect of Judaism and the Jewish people, it seems worthwhile to look a bit more...

  • How Do We Relate to Morally Difficult Texts in the Jewish Tradition?

    By Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz

    February 24, 2013 | 11:16 am

    We have all become familiar with the tactics of bigots who distort our religious beliefs or make up horrible lies to advance their hatred. Fortunately, most people in our pluralistic society recognize and reject these tactics.

    But how would we respond to a skeptic who points to...

  • Passing the torch

    September 19, 2012 | 2:50 pm

    “Moses summoned Joshua and said to him before the eyes of all Israel, ‘Be strong and courageous…’ ” Deuteronomy 31:7.

    Aware that he is about to die, Moses appoints Joshua as his successor in front of all the people. In a few short verses, he leads us on a journey through a...

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  • Conditionally unconditional

    August 29, 2012 | 5:06 pm

    Dear Mom: It’s been a long time coming, but I owe you an apology. There have been simply too many jokes at your expense, like the time you told your friends I was such a devoted son that I spend $150 on you every week — talking to my therapist. Or, when you and Dad proudly...

  • From Pain to Peace

    By Rabbi Anne Brener

    August 17, 2011 | 10:33 am

    “Remember the long way that YHVH your God made you travel in the wilderness these past 40 years, that he might test you, by hardships, to learn what is in your hearts: whether you would keep his commandments or not” (Deuteronomy 8:2).

    My daughter just returned from Vietnam. When...

  • Listening More Than We Speak

    By Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater

    August 10, 2011 | 10:32 am

    Having just come off Tisha B’Av, not only do we focus on the parasha, Va’etchanan, but this is also Shabbat Nachamu, the healing Shabbat of Comfort, so named because we read the words of Isaiah, “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God” (Isaiah 40:1).

    Having spent the...

  • Revisionist History: Parashat Devarim (Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22)

    August 2, 2011 | 5:37 pm

    My grandmother loved to tell family stories in which key details were changed. Sometimes she swapped out one time period or location for another. Sometimes key characters were replaced or motivations recast. More than slips of memory, these alterations were her way of putting the...

  • Listen and Respond

    By Rabbi David Baron

    September 13, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    On the New Year we learn to pay closer heed to the words we speak, their impact on others and the subtle messages our words convey. As we listen more acutely to the call for help from others, we also take upon ourselves the duty to respond in a timely manner and rally around those in...
  • The Parent Trap

    By Rabbi Elazar Muskin

    August 23, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Teenagers in Tennessee who want tattoos need a note from Mom or Dad. A minor in Indiana had best have parental permission if he of she is planning to pierce anything other than ears.

    In both Israel and America, parents and politicians alike are searching for some solution to the...

  • Being Our Own Gatekeepers

    By Rabbi Dan Shevitz

    August 16, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    "Judges and officers shall you place at all your gates."

    Thus begins our parsha, which is one of the richest in rulings, teachings and commandments, and which is therefore concerned about enforcement. Rashi teaches us the difference between the two functionaries: Judges decide...

  • Blessing a Curse

    By Rabbi Karen Deitsch

    August 9, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Here I am in Israel. My throat is sore, and it seems as if I'm going to spend my remaining days stuffy-nosed while watching subtitled television. This stinks.

    I just bid farewell to the 40 Birthright participants I helped connect with Israel and Judaism over 10 amazing and...

  • Not By Bread Alone

    By Rabbi Karen Deitsch

    August 2, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    "Carb" is a four-letter curse word in the estimation of most L.A. residents. Its nasty connotation came by way of one Dr. Atkins, whose "Diet Revolution" became more widely read than the Bible among many a secular Jew. Seemingly overnight, Atkins' "prophecy" became an orthodoxy for...
  • But Who’s Complaining?

    By Rabbi Debra Orenstein

    July 26, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Imagine there is something you have worked and hoped and longed for your whole life. (Perhaps you don't have to imagine.) Just when you are on the cusp of achieving/getting/doing/being it, a door slams in your face, and you learn that you will never live out what you dreamed. What...
  • Commitment Counts

    By Rabbi Joel Rembaum

    July 19, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Ask 10 Jews with a reasonable background in Torah the question, "Why did God not allow Moses to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land?" and nine of them would probably say: "Because Moses hit the rock instead of talking to it in order to bring forth water and failed to sanctify...
  • Within Us

    By Rabbi Karen Deitsch

    September 14, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Once upon a time, as God created the world, He decided to make beings in His image. As he generated his own reflection in man and woman, the angels got word of the project, and were consumed with jealousy.
     
    "How unfair!" they cried. "Those humans will have it all. They get to...
  • Alike, But Different

    By Rabbi Jonathan Jaffe Bernhard

    August 31, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    I am one of three totally different children, and my parents have assured me that none of us is adopted.

    I find this hard to believe.

    I am not sure if my siblings have thought about this, but it has certainly crossed my mind a few times. How could three such radically dissimilar...

  • Nourish Your Soul With a Helping of Jewish Learning

    By Michele Alperin

    August 24, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Torah study in its broadest sense is the path to the divine. The Chasidim and their spiritual descendants traditionally reach toward God through ecstatic music, with the mediation of their rebbes.

    The more straitlaced Mitnagdim found God in the intricacies of halacha, the "path"...

  • The Key Is Rejoicing

    By Rabbi Haim Ovadia

    August 17, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    A story is told about a Chasidic rabbi visited by an enthusiastic follower. The man eagerly wanted to update the rabbi on his latest religious undertaking.

    "I have decided to inflict my body and deprive myself from mundane pleasures," the man said. "Every day I roll in the snow...

  • Are You Listening?

    By Rabbi Ed Feinstein

    August 3, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    "What's the most important word in the prayer book?" the rabbi asked the congregation.

    The congregants responded with a list of important words: "shalom -- peace," "bracha -- blessing," "Torah -- God's truth," "Hashem -- God's name."

    "All very important words," the rabbi replied....

  • How to Give Torah

    By Rabbi Debra Orenstein

    June 1, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    There are some ideas so familiar to us that it's easy to forget how radical they are. Every human being is created in God's image. Every life is worth a world. The entire people received Torah at Mount Sinai.

    For most people throughout history, including today, a spiritual quest or...

  • Wisdom of the Ages

    By Rabbi Lisa Edwards

    January 26, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Ten years ago, when my parents, z"l, were 82 and 89, they traveled from Chicago to Los Angeles to be with my partner Tracy and me as we stood together under the chuppah. At the celebration of her daughter's lesbian wedding, my mother was heard to say quite matter-of-factly: "I guess...

  • Dousing Dreams

    By Rabbi Dov Fischer

    October 13, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Your child comes home and says she wants to be a doctor someday. Your spouse or serious beau tells you he or she dreams of being something greater. And you douse the dream with a comment: "You aren't smart enough," "You don't have the skills needed to do that" or "No one will take...

  • The Downer in Me

    By Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater

    August 25, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    People always tell me that I am a downer, constantly talking about the world's problems here, genocide there; conflict here, poverty there.

    Nobody ever wants to talk to me at a party!

    However, I also have a deep spiritual side, one that is open to the beauty and wonder of a...

  • Is Tomato Sauce a Vegetable?

    By Jane Ulman

    August 5, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    "I hate this healthy food. It's tasteless and disgusting," says Gabe, my 17-year-old son.

    He's protesting the culinary revolution taking place in our kitchen. The white rice that is now brown, the white bread that is now whole wheat and the Cheetos that have morphed into Lite Cheddar...

  • The Big Question

    By Rabbi N. Daniel Korobkin

    July 31, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    We're now in the midst of a period called Bein HaMetzarim, a three-week period of national mourning for tragedies throughout Jewish history.

    The most powerful of these tragedies was the destruction of the two temples in Jerusalem; these three weeks culminate with Tisha B'Av, the day...

  • We Must Share Our Blessings With the Poor

    By Rabbi Alan Henkin

    April 17, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    As we began our seders this week, one of our first acts was yachatz. We held high a matzah and recited, "Ha Lachma Anya" (behold, the matzah, the bread of poverty, which our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt.)

    The very flatness and blandness of the matzah remind us of the empty and...

  • All the Children

    By Rabbi Elazar Muskin

    October 8, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    On the eve of Simchat Torah, many synagogues auction the three major honors of the day, with proceeds benefiting the synagogue or other Jewish institutions. Two honors, Hatan Torah (for the one called to the final reading in Deuteronomy) and Hatan Bereshit (for the one called to the...
  • Don’t Win the Battle

    By Rabbi Ed Feinstein

    September 11, 1997 | 8:00 pm

    A professor in seminary once asked us to find themost important section in all the Torah. We offered Creation, theShma, the Exodus, the revelation at Mount Sinai. No, he argued, it'ski teze l'milchama (Deuteronomy 21): "When you go out to war against yourenemies, and the Lord God...

  • Finding the Adult Within

    By Rabbi Ed Feinstein

    August 21, 1997 | 8:00 pm

    "So, tell me, what are you looking for in awoman?" I ask.

    "Someone kind and gentle, intelligent, educated,cultured, witty, fun, a professional, independent, but interested intraditional things, Jewish, haimish, warm, family-oriented...andthin, tall, attractive, blond, well-dressed."...