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Jewish Journal

Tag: Torah Portion

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  • Orange County Kids Page

    By Abby Gilad

    June 6, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    Yes, I know that this week is Pinchas, but I must return to the second of last week's two portions, Balak, for what happens there is too relevant to pass by unmentioned. In this famous portion, King Balak sends the prophet-magician Balaam to curse Israel, because he is scared of...

  • Earth to Heaven

    By Rabbi Elazar Muskin

    May 30, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    A woman in Alcoholics Anonymous once told Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twersky, a leading psychologist, the following story: An old friend of hers, who was still an alcoholic, asked her how long she had been sober. She responded that it was already two years. The friend couldn't believe it and...

  • Quality, Not Quantity

    By Rabbi Susan Laemmle

    May 9, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    This week's Torah portion begins a new biblical book, after which the parsha is named in English, "Numbers,"and in Hebrew, "Bamidbar," best translated as "In the Wilderness."

    Juxtaposing the two very different names turns out to have resonance, both then and now. Between leaving...

  • Lag B’Omer

    By Abby Gilad

    April 25, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    OK. Now what's an omer?

    It is a unit of measure -- like a pound or a kilo. That is how sheaves of barley were measured. The Israelites were commanded to bring an omer of barley to the Temple on the second day of Passover. If you don't believe me, read this week's Torah portion, Emor. It says it right there. Then they were supposed to count 49 days from that day, until Shavuot. Lag B'Omer falls on the 33rd day of the counting of the omer. Get it?

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  • The Holiness of Life

    By Rabbi Michael Gotlieb

    April 18, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    All of us have heard, or experienced a variation of the following story, told of a father and his daughter. She, a busy professional; he, a retired widower. In one of their virtually nonexistent exchanges, he asks: "With your booked schedule, will you be able to attend my funeral?"...

  • Yom HaAtzmaut

    By Abby Gilad

    April 11, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    Yom HaAtzmaut

    It is a difficult time for Israel. Jews all over the world are very sad because of the violence and pain that Israelis and Arabs are experiencing every day. But we still want and need to celebrate our Jewish state. The Israel Independence Day (Yom HaAtzmaut) Festival...

  • A Bittersweet Blessing

    By Rabbi Ed Feinstein

    April 11, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    The great Israeli author, Shai Agnon, related a fable about a little boy and his old father, who together tended a goat. Each day the goat wandered off and returned at evening, its udders filled with the sweetest of milk. The boy wished to know where the goat went, and on what grass...

  • Silence and Rage

    By Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky

    April 4, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    In a parsha that features spectacular displays of sound and light, the most dramatic moment is actually the quietest one. In fact, it sometimes feels like the opening chapter's tumult and noise only serves to draw us even deeper into the second chapter's thunderclap of silence.

    The...

  • 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...

  • 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...

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