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Tag: Torah Portion

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  • Divine partnership: Parashat Bo (Exodus 10:1-13:16)

    January 3, 2014 | 2:27 pm

    “Come to Pharaoh … that you may know I am HaShem” (Exodus 10:1-10:2). 

    The story in this week’s portion is as recognizable as any in the entire Torah. Discussed at the Passover seder, it begins with Moses and the eighth plague of locusts, continues through the plague of darkness...

  • Becoming a parent: Parashat Miketz (Genesis 41:1-44:17)

    November 26, 2013 | 4:07 pm

    Joseph, the once-favored child of Jacob, rises up from slave and prisoner to become Pharaoh’s right hand. He assumes responsibility for a far-reaching 14-year business plan to ensure that after seven years of plenty, Egypt would be prepared to endure the seven years of famine. Once...

  • Blind Spot: Parashat Vayeshev (Genesis 37:1-40:23)

    November 20, 2013 | 4:16 pm

    “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts; the entire earth is filled with his glory” (Isaiah 6:30). 

    If Isaiah is correct, with every step we take, with every breath we draw, we cannot help but encounter God’s glory. And yet who among us is constantly aware of this fact, this daily...

  • Surrender as prayer: Parashat Vayishlach (Genesis 32:4-36:43)

    November 14, 2013 | 5:44 pm

    What do you do when your back is to the wall? When tensions are so high, annihilation seems imminent?

    Jacob has an answer that touches my soul. He doesn’t fight, run or resist. Instead, he surrenders completely, and that which he feared washes over him like a wave. 

    Twenty...

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  • Shabbat Shalom to the Angels Among Us

    Rabbi Elaine Rose Glickman

    November 8, 2013 | 8:27 am

    This Shabbat, Jews all over the world will read the Torah portion Vayetze. It's a great portion - they all are, of course, but this one really is especially rich. We meet Leah and Rachel, and watch as their father's trickery ensures Jacob will marry both. We celebrate the births of...

  • No victory over the vulnerable: Parashat Vayetze (Genesis 28:10-32:3)

    November 6, 2013 | 3:04 pm

    “And Leah’s eyes were tender, but Rachel was fair in form and fair to look at, and Jacob loved Rachel” (Genesis 29:17).

    There was something about Leah’s eyes. Some commentators thought them possessed of an elegant beauty, others a misty attractiveness, or most peculiarly, that...

  • Kindness connection: Parashat Chayei Sarah (Genesis 23:1-25:18)

    By Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky

    October 23, 2013 | 4:54 pm

    Did Avraham attend Yitzchak’s wedding? Well, in the closest thing we have to a wedding description — right at the end of this parasha — Avraham is nowhere to be found. The servant who made the match is there, and the spirit of Sarah is there as she looms large in her son’s memory,...

  • The long and winding road: Parashat Lech Lecha (Genesis 12:1–17:27)

    By Rabbi Daniel Bouskila

    October 9, 2013 | 3:24 pm

    The day God pronounced two simple words — lech lecha — Abraham and Sarah’s lives changed forever. God instructs Abraham to leave his homeland, his birthplace and his father’s home, “to the land that I will show you, and there I will make of you a great nation” (Genesis 12:1-2)....

  • 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...

  • Feast or Famine: Sukkot

    September 18, 2013 | 12:30 pm

    According to the rabbis, the holiday of Sukkot commemorates the 40 years of wandering in the Sinai Desert, and we eat and sleep in a sukkah — that temporary structure made with a roof of dried vegetation, such as palm fronds — because the Israelites slept in sukkot (the plural of...

  • Guess how much I love you

    July 17, 2013 | 1:54 pm

    There is a well-known children’s book depicting a nut-brown hare and its child playing a game called “Guess How Much I Love You.” In it, the child stretches tall and wide, jumps high and reaches toward the horizon to show his affection for the parent. In response, the parent always...

  • Rosner’s Torah-Talk: Parashat Matot-Massei with Rabbi Uri Regev

    By Shmuel Rosner

    July 5, 2013 | 6:45 am

    Our special guest today is Rabbi Uri Regev, President and CEO of Hiddush, a trans-denominational nonprofit organization which is aimed at promoting religious freedom and equality in Israel. Prior to his work at Hiddush, Rabbi Regev served for seven years as President of the World...

  • Station to station: Parashat Matot-Masei (Numbers 30:2-36:13)

    July 2, 2013 | 12:06 pm

    We conclude the reading of Bamidbar (Numbers) this week. Over the course of the book, the children of Israel spend approximately 40 years in the desert, camping in 42 different places, each of which is mentioned in Masei, the second of this week’s two parshiyot. Somewhat...

  • Finding Light Amidst Darkness - D’var Torah Pinchas

    By Rabbi John Rosove

    June 28, 2013 | 6:29 am

    How to read the story of Pinchas, a shatteringly brutal tale of love and violence? That is the question in this week’s Torah portion, especially for the modern Jew?

    The story begins this way:

    “Now YHVH spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Pinchas, son of Elazar son of Aaron the priest, has...

  • Pinchas and the Harlotry of the “Peace Process”

    By Orit Arfa

    June 28, 2013 | 3:16 am

    The fantastic story of Pinchas takes place in the book of Bamidbar, on the heels of the Moabite King Balak’s attempt to eradicate the budding Israelite nation by hiring the gentile prophet Bila’am to curse Israel to destruction. God foils Bila’ams plan, and Bila’am finally...

  • Sinai and American Efforts for Peace - D’var Torah Hukat

    By Rabbi John Rosove

    June 14, 2013 | 9:22 am

    In this week’s Torah portion Hukat, Miriam dies and the people complain bitterly that there’s no water (Numbers 20:3-5). God tells him to take his rod and order the rock to produce water. But Moses, old and weary, instead of ordering the rock, strikes it with his rod. Though the...

  • The Inner Korach - Then and Now

    By Rabbi John Rosove

    June 7, 2013 | 9:35 am

    The Wall Street Journal/NBC News published a poll this week reporting on the public’s approval rating of President Obama with special focus on his administration’s honesty and integrity in light of the Benghazi investigation, the IRS scandal and Drone attacks. The President...

  • Rosner’s Torah-Talk: Parashat Korach with Rabbi Susan Silverman

    By Shmuel Rosner

    June 7, 2013 | 6:28 am

    Our special guest today is Rabbi Susan Silverman, an active member of 'Women of the Wall'. Born and raised in New Hampshire, Rabbi Silverman was ordained by the HUC-JIR in 1994 and, after serving as a congregation Rabbi in Maryland, she made Aliyah with her family in 2006....

  • Lies, lies, lies

    June 6, 2013 | 5:47 pm

    My daughter, a soon-to-graduate high school senior, was chosen by a teacher to participate in an event to teach the school a lesson about drunk driving. Before school one day, organizers would set up a scene with a crashed car and police tape. My daughter and the other chosen...

  • A failure of imagination: Parashat Shelach Lecha (Numbers 13:1-15:41)

    May 29, 2013 | 4:44 pm

    The imagination is a stretch of highway that bends through the universe. Its lanes unmarked, its exits limitless, yet it is, nevertheless, the shortest road to anywhere. Many years have passed since I last visited the Land of Israel. Yet if I set my mind to it, I can walk its...

  • Rosner’s Torah-Talk: Parashat Naso with Rabbi Abraham Cooper

    By Shmuel Rosner

    May 17, 2013 | 5:29 am

    Our special guest today is Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish human rights organization with over 400,000 family members.

    For three decades, Rabbi Cooper has overseen the Wiesenthal Center’s international social action agenda...

  • The ordeal of the Sotah: Parashat Naso (Numbers 4:21-7:89)

    By Rabbi Anne Brener

    May 15, 2013 | 11:45 am

    In the late ’70s, I carried a beeper when it was my turn to be on call for a rape-victim helpline. One evening I had it clipped to my jacket during a faculty meeting at the community college where I taught. One of my male colleagues saw it and asked, “What’s that?” He addressed me...

  • Grace in the wilderness: Parashat Bamidbar (Numbers 1:1-4:20)

    May 8, 2013 | 6:54 pm

    The book of Bamidbar, literally “in the desert” or “in the wilderness,” is a hard book to read. Over and over, plagues break out and thousands are killed. The reason, we are told, is a pronounced lack of faith in God. I found the repeated spilling of Israelite blood difficult, to...

  • Rosner’s Torah-Talk: Parashat Emor with Rabba Sara Hurwitz

    By Shmuel Rosner

    April 26, 2013 | 5:20 am

    This is the Second installment of our weekly series of talks about the weekly Torah portion.

    Our Special guest today is Rabba Sara Hurwitz, a member of the Rabbinical staff at the Hebrew institute of Riverdale and the Dean of Yeshivat Maharat, the first institution to train...

  • The cure for anger: Parashat Emor (Leviticus 21:1-24:23)

    April 24, 2013 | 5:05 pm

    Life is not easy. In fact, at times it’s downright infuriating. Our natural tendency is to want to blame someone, and the easiest target is God. We may carry anger at HaShem for our entire lives. As a result, we miss out on decades of spiritual connectedness and comfort. 

    There...

  • Rosner’s Torah-Talk: Parashat Kedoshim with Rabbi Rick Jacobs

    By Shmuel Rosner

    April 19, 2013 | 9:36 am

    This is the first in a series of weekly videos in which we will discuss the weekly Torah portion (Parashat Hashavua) with leading Rabbis of different denominations.

    Our first guest is Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), the congregational arm of...

  • Healing the broken – Parashat Tazria-Metzora (Leviticus 12:1-15:33)

    By Rabbi Laura Geller

    April 10, 2013 | 1:57 pm

    Most people try really hard to avoid having their bar or bat mitzvah on the Shabbat when we read Tazria-Metzora. I know this not only because I am a rabbi, but because this was my bat mitzvah portion. 

    Tazria is about purity and impurity, including the impurity that comes with...

  • Willing to sacrifice

    By Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky

    March 21, 2013 | 4:49 am

    The mind of the midrashist drifts effortlessly over the face of the Tanakh as verses from the Torah conjure up similar verses and phrases from other sacred books. Thus, our parasha’s descriptions of the thanksgiving offerings and the free-will offerings call to mind a phrase found...

  • A divine call to action

    By Rabbi Elazar Muskin

    March 14, 2013 | 4:39 am

    Once, on a mission to Israel, we needed a minyan for a prayer service during the airplane flight. We were a total of six men in our group, so we began to scan the plane for the remaining four for the requisite 10 men.

    As I went up and down the aisles, one fellow turned to me and...

  • Building Our Mishkan

    By Rabbi Yonah Bookstein

    March 7, 2013 | 4:14 am

    The ancient sages teach us that the Torah is exceedingly careful with language. No phrase is superfluous. Each word or letter is part of the intricate unfolding mysteries concentrated in the Torah.

    In Parshat Terumah, a few chapters ago, we read about the entire construction of...

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