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Tag: Weekly Parsha

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  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • God’s road rage

    February 27, 2013 | 1:54 pm

    What’s up with God? 

    One minute God’s up on Mount Sinai giving us laws and teachings to transform our people and the world, and the next, the Holy One is contemplating — no, planning, actually — to destroy the whole Israelite people and begin again with Moses as the progenitor...

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  • Wearing your true self

    February 20, 2013 | 3:09 pm

    “Do not judge by the flask, but rather by what it contains” (Pirkei Avot 4:20).

    We are taught from a young age not to “judge a book by its cover” and we raise our children to look deeper than just at the clothes someone is wearing. Yet in this week’s portion we find a good deal...

  • 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...

  • Engraved Ideas

    By Rabbi Elazar Muskin

    May 17, 2011 | 5:55 pm

    In 2008, the Los Angeles Times ran an op-ed written by Marisol Leon, a young woman who graduated from Yale in 2007 and returned to teach in the same public middle school she had attended:

    “‘Think Ivy League,’ pleaded Mrs.  Anderson, my English teacher. ‘Ivy League? What is...

  • Blasphemers No More

    May 3, 2011 | 6:28 pm

    My sister just touched down in Israel. I can feel her elation way over here in California. Time stood still; there was silence. The land and the woman were one. She had returned home.

    My sister made aliyah 22 years ago, with her then-husband and 1-year-old daughter. After building...

  • Recognizing a Community

    By Rabbi N. Daniel Korobkin

    March 1, 2011 | 6:00 pm

    When looking for biblical themes on the importance of community, one needs look no further than those portions at the end of Exodus that deal with the construction of the mishkan (Tabernacle). This special structure represents the collective spiritual power of the Jewish people,...

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