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Jewish Journal

Torah portion: Must enlightenment hurt?

by Rabbi Avivah W. Erlick

July 23, 2014 | 11:08 am

I visit a hospice patient whom I would call a sage. All the folks from my hospice who visit him marvel at his sweetness, the depth of his spirituality, and his ability to enjoy and engage... read full article

  • Torah portion: Light at the end of the tunnel

    By Rabbi Daniel Bouskila

    July 16, 2014 | 9:19 am

    The Irish writer and poet Oscar Wilde said, “Life imitates art far more than art imitates life.” Many would argue that the Bible is the Jewish people’s ultimate artistic masterpiece. If that’s the case, then Jewish history has been one long journey of “life imitating art,” and both...

  • Torah portion: Reframing the Brit Shalom

    By Rabbi Anne Brener

    July 9, 2014 | 9:40 am

    How can I write a d’var Torah when I can’t stop crying? The horrific news from the Middle East — our boys, their boys, the steady progress of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria — I can’t bear to put on paper what is in my heart, as I emerge from texts on Parshat Pinchas extolling...

  • Binary vision isn’t healthy: Parashat Balak (Numbers 22:2-25:9)

    By Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater

    July 2, 2014 | 3:52 pm

    Do you remember the classic 1980s film “The Breakfast Club”? It was a favorite of mine as a teen and made a lasting impression on me. The short summary is that a bunch of high-schoolers get weekend detention together in the school library with very little supervision and go from...

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  • Torah portion: Time flies

    By Rabbi Lisa Edwards

    June 25, 2014 | 10:44 am

    I attended a memorial for a beloved colleague recently, and his widow remembered how at funerals he would invite people not to look at the birth and death dates on memorial plaques and grave markers, but to focus on the dash between the dates — that’s the part that matters. 

    This...

  • Torah Portion: Living with clergy killers

    By Rabbi Dov Fischer

    June 18, 2014 | 9:26 am

    Korach is a fascinating Torah portion because, as happens so often when the Torah narrates real-life events, the characters ring incredibly true. We all know superficially good people who have so much going for them, yet who propel themselves down a horrific course of...

  • The big choice

    by Rabbi Michael Barclay

    June 11, 2014 | 9:16 am

    I’ve always held the belief that if three or more diverse cultures have the same teaching, that teaching may be worthwhile and worth exploring. Nearly every tradition in the world teaches that all personal choices are, at their deepest level, based on choosing between faith and...

  • Baseless discontent

    by Rabbi Avivah W. Erlick

    June 4, 2014 | 10:17 am

    I like to have a derash in my pocket with an addiction/recovery theme when I visit Jewish inmates in the county jail, and I’ve got to tell you, Beha’alotecha is the perfect one to do this. 

    Found in the book of Numbers, this parasha features a memorable scene in which the...

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