Author Archive

Chukat – Three Children of Amram, Two Strange Cows, and A Perpetual Living Stream

June 19, 2018
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Chukat – Three Children of Amram, Two Strange Cows, and A Perpetual Living Stream

Listen to an audio version Parashat Chukat is among the most enigmatic in all of Torah. While it gives closure to the lives of Moses siblings, it opens three new mysteries in the fabric of Israel’s, story, a peculiar ordinance, an odd deliverance, and a strange brand of justice. Though I won’t discuss them...
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Bechukotai – Peace Within and Without

May 10, 2018
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Bechukotai – Peace Within and Without

Listen to an audio version “…you will dwell securely in your land. I will provide peace in the land…” (Vayikra 26:5-6)   After the Torah guarantees that we will dwell in our land safely if we observe the mitzvot, it states redundantly, “I will provide peace in the land.” Some commentators explain that the...
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Emor – Kiddush Hashem

May 3, 2018
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Emor – Kiddush Hashem

Listen to an audio version It is no wonder that Americans grow ever more cynical regarding organized religion. I think few people are totally surprised by the recently exposed sexual abuses that have been going on within Catholic parishes, since the rumors have flown around for years. But I believe that which appalls most...
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The Lamb of God; Dayenu

March 24, 2018
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The Lamb of God; Dayenu

Listen to an audio version At the each Passover Seder just prior to the second cup of wine we sing Dayenu (lit. It would have been enough) a song that recognizes each of God’s beneficent gifts to Israel. After the enumeration of each gift we respond by singing Dayenu! It would have been enough!...
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Vayakhel – Come Together

March 8, 2018
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Vayakhel – Come Together

Listen to an audio version We have a highly practical society that prides itself on efficiency. As a result we have gadgets that save time and labor, facilitate communication and raise our standard of living. Therefore we can watch an assortment of Hollywood movies in our living rooms or while waiting for a plane,...
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Ki Tisa – A Perfect Fall

February 27, 2018
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Ki Tisa – A Perfect Fall

Listen to an audio version “Look what your kids are doing! Go see what your kids are making so much commotion about.” Parents, have you noticed that when your children fail to perform at acceptable levels they cease to be your little angels and become your spouse’s out of control problem? Parashat Ki Tisa...
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Tetzaveh – The Sweet Aroma of Prayer

February 22, 2018
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Tetzaveh – The Sweet Aroma of Prayer

Listen to an audio version I cannot recall ever smelling incense burning in shul. Such practices in my mind belonged categorically in Roman Catholic or Orthodox churches, or in Buddhist shrines. Most of my own experience of smelling burnt fragrances was in the dormitory during my college years when coeds would use them to...
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Terumah – The Missing Piece of Furniture

February 15, 2018
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Terumah – The Missing Piece of Furniture

Listen to an audio version Toward the end of last weeks Torah portion Mishapatim, Moses, Aaron and his two sons Nadab and Abihu, as well as the seventy elders of Israel prepared to ascend Mount Sinai where Moses was to receive the commandments of God. As a precursor Moses read the book of the...
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Yitro – An Aristocracy of Humility

February 1, 2018
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Yitro – An Aristocracy of Humility

Listen to an audio version With the arrival at Sinai, Israel begins to forge in earnest its national identity. It is only in covenantal relationship with the God of their forefathers, the God to whom the entire world belongs that the shared experience of bondage and liberation begin to take on meaning. It is...
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Beshalach – Buyer’s Remorse

January 24, 2018
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Beshalach – Buyer’s Remorse

Listen to an audio version Here in Connecticut all contracts require a three-day “cooling off” period, a time when all involved parties can examine their contractual obligations and determine whether or not they can honor them. This allows the parties involved to observe the considerations involved in the deal free from the duress that...
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