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Jewish Journal

Tag: Torah Portion

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  • Small Sacrifices

    By Rabbi Avrohom Czapnik

    March 14, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    This week, we begin "Vayikra," the first book of Leviticus, the third book of the Torah. This section of the Torah is filled with many fascinating and important Torah concepts that we can relate to, including the laws of lashon hara (the prohibitions against speaking ill of others),...

  • Facing Each Other

    By Rabbi Yitzchak Etshalom

    February 14, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    I am sitting in my old seat in the study hall of Yeshivat Har Etzion, tucked away in the Judean hills, having completed a week of solidarity visits, catching up with old friends and attending inspiring and enlightening lectures. As a Bible teacher, I could not resist the opportunity...

  • Being There

    By Rabbi Cheryl Peretz

    February 7, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    As you think about your day, how many different instances can you think of when someone -- your spouse or significant other, children, a parent, colleagues, an employee or employer, friends, relatives -- wanted or needed your attention. Perhaps one at a time; perhaps all at once....

  • Kids Page

    By Abby Gilad

    February 7, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    This week's Torah portion is about how to live peacefully with the people around us. We all get along better if each person is treated properly by others, and the Torah tells us just what that means. One way is that when we find something that belongs to somebody else, we should be...

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  • Contemporary Commandments

    By Rabbi Susan Laemmle

    January 31, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    There is little doubt that Aseret Ha-dibrot, the Ten Commandments, form the centerpiece of Parshat Yitro and probably the entire Torah.

    The congregation rises three times a year when they are chanted. The paired tablets on which they were inscribed adorn most synagogue arks. And...

  • Stolen Souls

    By Rabbi Ed Feinstein

    January 3, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    Surfing the TV one night, two powerful images caught my eye: On one station were Afghan women draped from head to toe in the traditional black burka. On another, Britney Spears, very much undraped, projected live across the world in a televised concert.

    The opposing extremes of 21st...

  • Action and Reaction

    By Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky

    December 27, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    In the parsha four weeks ago, Shimon and Levi, sons of Jacob, got the last word. But on his deathbed in this week's parsha, Jacob has one final opportunity to deliver his rejoinder.

    Four weeks ago, we also read of the rape of Dina at the hands of the prince of Shechem, and the...

  • Serious Play

    By Rabbi Shawn Fields-Meyer

    December 13, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    We call it the Festival of Lights, but Chanukah starts in a very dark place.

    It begins with two stories, each very serious. One tells of a severely outnumbered band of Jews who fought a powerful enemy for religious freedom. And there's the other, even more painful tale of Jew vs....

  • Stolen Chanukah

    By Rabbi Avrohom Czapnik

    December 6, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    As we prepare for the start of Chanukah this Sunday night, with menorahs, dreidels, presents and latkes, I wonder if we realize that Chanukah was stolen.

    Hopefully, we will enjoy the Festival of Lights -- the candlelighting, family time, delicious foods, and, yes, even the gelt and...

  • The Most Dangerous Game

    By Rabbi Yakov Vann

    November 29, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    Today I received a phone call from an 18-year-old named Steven. Steven and I were scheduled to meet at Starbucks in a few days, prior to his leaving for U.S. military service. He called to let me know that he could not keep our appointment as the Marine Corps insisted that he report...

  • A Portion of Parshat Haye Sarah

    By Abby Gilad

    November 8, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    Abraham had two sons: Yitzchak and Yishmael. Yitzchak was Sarah's son, and Yishmael was Hagar's son. Yitzchak would become the ancestor of the Israelites, and Ishmael would be the father of the Arab nations. Sarah sent Hagar and Yishmael away when the half-brothers were still boys....

  • A Tough Match

    By Rabbi Yitzchak Etshalom

    November 8, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    Our parasha includes a description of possibly the first shidduch (arranged marriage) in history. With the death of his beloved Sarah, Abraham turns his attention to the future and sends his servant back to "the old country" Haran to find a wife for Isaac. The mission with which he...

  • Our Two Worlds

    By Rabbi Cheryl Peretz

    November 1, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    In today's world, it is so easy to get caught up in the development and achievement of the many goals we set for ourselves. From the time we are very young, we are trained to begin thinking about what we want to be when we grow up and how we will get there. And as we grow up, those...

  • A New Nation

    By Rabbi Susan Laemmle

    October 25, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Jewish history begins with God's call to Abram: "Go forth from your native land and from your father's house to the land that I will show you." This call resonates through the millennia in two important ways. It connects our earliest beginnings and very identity as a people to the...

  • Kids Page

    By Abby Gilad

    October 25, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    God tells Abraham to pack his bags. "Leave the land where you were born and move to a country that I will show you," God says. And Abraham leaves everything that has been familiar to him and goes to a strange land. Here he has to meet his new neighbors, and Sarah has to figure out...

  • A Portion of Parshat Noah

    By Abby Gilad

    October 18, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    God gave Noah many instructions on how to build the ark. It took Noah 120 days to build it. The rabbis ask: "Why did it take him so long?" And the answer: "God was giving Noah a chance to talk to his neighbors." The neighbors would come up to Noah and say: "Why are you building this...

  • Lenin, Meet Noah

    By Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein

    October 18, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Fall was just beginning to turn the Moscow air crispy when the lot of us -- 10 high school seniors and three faculty members of YULA Girls' School -- trudged down the stairs of our Intourist Hotel in the late '80s, and began our walk of several miles, not to the better-known Chabad...

  • Who Wrote the Bible?

    By Rabbi Daniel Bouskila

    October 11, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    So many people seem to be concerned with the question, "Who wrote the Bible?"

    It reminds me of a story that a professor from the University of Judaism once told me. He was discussing a movie that he had recently seen, and he asked his students what they thought of this particular...

  • Find the Gems

    By Rabbi Ed Feinstein

    September 27, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    There once was a man who could provide only potatoes for his family's subsistence. As the monotony and the poverty wore on, he prayed, and his prayers were answered. There fell into his hands a mysterious map to a magical Island of Diamonds.

    Begging a boat, he set sail on a long and...

  • The Situation

    By Rabbi Ed Feinstein

    August 30, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    To know the mind of Israel today, you needn't consult a Gallup poll. Just jump into any taxicab and ask the driver about ha'matsav (the situation). His first response, "Milchama [war] -- there's going to be a war. We need a war," he'll carefully explain, "to show them we're still...

  • Law and Order

    By Rabbi Yakov Vann

    August 23, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    "Judges and officers shall you appoint in all of your cities."

    This divine commandment to establish a judicial system serves as the basis of all Western law; a fair system affording protection to each of its citizens and guests.

    Though this is a communal responsibility, it is...

  • Wordless Lessons

    By Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein

    July 12, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    The proverbial apple may not fall far from the tree. Often, though, the question is: which tree?

    The Torah portion opens by tracing Pinchas' lineage back to his paternal grandfather, Moses' brother, Aaron. Pinchas, it will be recalled from last week's reading, dramatically put an end...

  • Soul Care

    By Rabbi Shawn Fields-Meyer

    June 7, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    I recently visited a hospital patient, an elderly gentleman with a name, a gaze and a life story from the old country. His deterioration had advanced to the stage of inhibiting verbal communication, so he spoke to me instead through gestures, nods and stares. But slowly, we drew...

  • Jews, Food and Holiness

    By Steven Carr Reuben

    April 19, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    I suppose it would be nearly impossible to go through an entire week of Passover for Reconstructionist and Reform Jews, not to mention eight days for the rest of you, without the profound experience in practically every pore of your body that Jewish identity is inextricably bound up...

  • Torah Portion

    By Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky

    April 6, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Unworthiness is not a quality that carries positive connotations. It's usually thought of as a state to be overcome, or a situation to be avoided. Perhaps, though, it has a redeeming feature. Perhaps feelings of unworthiness should actually be reveled in and appreciated -- at least...
  • Children Count

    By Rabbi Elazar Muskin

    January 13, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Children often are pestered by well-meaning adults. I remember as a child having my cheeks pinched, or, even worse, my ear lobe pulled by some sweet elderly lady. Recounting this experience at one of my evening classes, one student seriously asked me, "Rabbi, did she pull down or...
  • Wishing

    By Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben

    January 6, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    "Don't wish for fish, fish for fish." These words of sage advice were taught to me by my Grandpa Manny. He was a man of action. He was filled with exuberance for life with a twinkle in his eye and a word of encouragement and inspiration for everyone.

    Grandpa Manny was the one who...

  • Narrowing It Down

    By Rabbi Steven Z. Leder

    December 16, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    The grocery store used to be a painful place for my 10-year-old son. He has trouble making decisions when there are too many choices. Hence, when in search of an after-school snack, Ralph's became his private, post-modern, market-driven hell. "Okay Aaron, what's it gonna be?" I'd...
  • Lighting the Darkness

    By Rabbi Shawn Fields-Meyer

    December 2, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    With the simple act of lighting a candle, you can illuminate an entire room. Add a mirror, and you have twice as much light. So, too with people. We all carry internal sparks, rays of light within. But sometimes it takes another person to show us how to release them to ourselves and...
  • Sit Right Down and Write Yourself a Letter

    By Rabbi Ed Feinstein

    July 29, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Write a letter. Address it to those you love -- your spouse, your children and grandchild, your friends, your community. Put into this letter what life has taught you: What you learned from childhood, from growing up, from your education. What you learned from marriage and raising...
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