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Tag: Parashat

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  • Justice and freedom: Parashat Shemot (Exodus 1:1-6:1)

    By Rav Yosef Kanefsky

    December 18, 2013 | 4:52 pm

    Upon arriving in Egypt, fresh from his encounter with God at the burning bush, Moshe enlists his brother Aharon as well as the elders of Israel to confront Pharaoh. Together, representing the united leadership of the Hebrews, they would demand their freedom, or at very least that...

  • In the family way: Parashat Noach (Genesis 6:9-11:32)

    By Rabbi Lisa Edwards

    October 3, 2013 | 4:59 pm

    Word went out from the congregation that a longtime member was nearing the end of her life. She has no partner and no children, but, on the day after Yom Kippur, 17 friends from the congregation came to visit her, including current and former clergy, and grown children she used to...

  • Returning with God: Parashat Nitzavim-Vayelech (Deuteronomy 29:9-31:30)

    August 28, 2013 | 4:44 pm

    Outside of Baltimore, smooth country roads swept like rivers between banks of undulating forest. As my wife and I coasted past rolling hills of green, we had the impression of driving over waves. Red barns and silver silos stood watch atop billowing crests while small ponds and...

  • 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...

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  • Circumcise your heart: Parashat Ekev (Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25)

    By Rabbi Lisa Edwards

    July 24, 2013 | 4:09 pm

    A friend who works for the federal government wrote recently to say that because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act), she was able to add her wife to the family’s insurance plan. “I never thought I would get emotional while on the phone with an...

  • ‘Because I say so’: Parashat Chukat (Numbers 19:1-22:1)

    June 13, 2013 | 10:13 am

    “This is the decree [chukat] of the Torah” (Numbers 19:2).

    Isn’t it amazing how, as we get older, our parents seem to become wise? It is the responsibility of any good parent to guide their child. But when the child asks for a reason why they should or should not do something,...

  • Who is like you?

    April 19, 2013 | 10:56 am

    Nathan was a young man in his 20s, living in Gulfport, Miss. He lived with his mother and grandmother in a small three-bedroom home a little over a mile from the Gulf Coast. When Hurricane Katrina hit, it took most of his roof, flooded a good part of his home, and placed even...

  • Hardship and rebirth: Parashat Beshalach (Exodus 13:17-17:16)

    January 23, 2013 | 3:56 pm

    In these dark, cold days of winter, it’s so easy to lose hope. Add to this the hardships of loss, with which life seems intent on liberally sprinkling our lives, and we get something akin to paralysis. We may feel like a tree in winter, shorn of its leaves, standing still like...

  • Measure for measure: Parashat Miketz (Genesis 41:1-44:17)

    December 12, 2012 | 2:19 pm

    There are a good many details about the Joseph narratives that elude ready explanation. We absorb them readily and ignore them just as readily. What bearing do they have on Joseph or his brothers? They seem of no connection with the past or with the future. It is fair to claim all...

  • Receiving happiness

    October 3, 2012 | 2:49 pm

    Sometimes we just can’t do as God asks. Our burden is too great. 

    I run into this often when visiting hospital patients and their families during the High Holy Days. They feel mad at God for their circumstances and conflicts. Why would I get sick on Rosh Hashanah and miss the...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • When your brother will be low

    By Rabbi Lisa Edwards

    May 15, 2012 | 9:04 pm

    He flopped down on the couch in my study, looking pale, upset.

    “What is it?” I asked, imagining a bad diagnosis.

    “I had to lay off one of my workers today,” he said, fighting tears. “The poor guy says he only has two mortgage payments in his savings account.”

    “Any...

  • How to be a priest

    May 9, 2012 | 12:04 pm

    Leviticus is the biblical book rabbis do not want you to read. Saturated with sacrificial minutiae and unsettling descriptions of ritual impurity, its countless sheep and goat offerings seem a more effective salve for insomnia than any woe that pains the heart. After all, what do...

  • Make the Old New Again

    March 21, 2012 | 1:50 pm

    At the ripe age of 8, I learned the Peter Allen song “Everything Old Is New Again.” It may have been an unusual choice for an 8-year-old to crave hearing over and over. But for me, this song was synonymous with dance class, doing the soft shoe that landed me on stage for the...

  • Parashat Lech Lecha (Genesis 12:1-17:27)

    By Rabbi Laura Geller

    November 1, 2011 | 8:29 pm

    Last week’s Torah portion ends with a genealogy, a long list of names of who begot whom and how long they lived. It is one of many genealogies in the Torah. It used to be that when I encountered those lists, I tuned out; I found them boring. But then I read a book by Thomas Cahill...

  • Ears, Toes and Thumbs

    By Rabbi Elazar Muskin

    April 5, 2011 | 6:09 pm

    Author Hillel Halkin, reviewing the Koren Sacks Siddur in the spring 2010 Jewish Review of Books, recounts a charming story that he heard from his father:

    “My father, who prayed with great kavanah [concentration] yet was adamant about having no religious beliefs whatsoever …...

  • While your neighbor bleeds

    December 22, 2010 | 12:26 pm

    At the beginning of Shemot, when Jacob’s offspring were enslaved, oppressed and abused, where were the people who dared to speak truth to power? Where were theconsumers who demanded that Egyptian products be free from slave labor?

    Alas, the world didn’t work that way then. Few...

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