Torah Commentaries

Emor – The Blemished and the Whole

May 11, 2017
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Emor – The Blemished and the Whole

For decades, Western society has been making concerted efforts to be more accepting and inclusive of those who have physical and mental disabilities. This means that accommodations must be made for impediments that have historically restricted people from living fully integrated into the greater society. In the past most of “civilized” society dealt with...
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Passover Lambs and Chesed Community

April 6, 2017
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Passover Lambs and Chesed Community

Among messianic Jews much has been said concerning the parallels between the sacrifices of the paschal lamb and that of Yeshua. After all the paschal lamb was the Korban Pesach, the essential sacrifice which God commanded the children of Israel to make before liberating them from bondage to the Pharaoh of Egypt and bringing...
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Vayikra – A Tough Place for Man or Beast

March 30, 2017
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Vayikra – A Tough Place for Man or Beast

Listen to an audio version At first glance Torah can be a tough read for those concerned about animal welfare. Much of the first ten chapters of Leviticus contain cultic material, especially in parsha Vayikra that, that concerns itself with sacrifice, which is more than occasionally of the animal variety. Though this brutal instruction...
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Pekudei – The Future Is Now

March 23, 2017
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Pekudei – The Future Is Now

Listen to an audio version When I was a boy in the 60’s my two favorite cartoons were the popular Flintstones and Jetsons. While Hanna-Barbera Studios produced both, the Flintstones was “the modern stone-age family” while the Jetsons was the “space-age” family of the future. Ironically though, both families were really tongue in cheek...
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Tetsaveh – Do Not Forget!

March 9, 2017
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Tetsaveh – Do Not Forget!

The Torah portion for this week, Tetsaveh, literally “means you shall command.” It contains the remainder of the divine instruction for the building and operation of the Mishkan, the unique tabernacle in which Hashem promises to dwell with Israel during our travels through the Sinai wilderness.  It represents much more than a temporary vocation...
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Yitro – Chosen? For What?

February 15, 2017
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Yitro – Chosen? For What?

In the classic Broadway musical “Fiddler On the Roof” the main character Tevye the dairyman ironically quips while entreating G-d, “I know, I know. We are Your chosen people. But, once in a while, can’t You choose someone else?” In his frustration, Tevye echoes 4000 years of Jewish experience. At first blush it would appear...
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Accepting Our Heritage

January 26, 2017
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Accepting Our Heritage

It has been said that the life of Moses can be seen as three distinct movements, forty years each.  First Moses spends the first forty years thinking he is somebody. He has fallen by providence into the royal court of Pharaoh, raised as a prince of Egypt while his people, the Jewish people unbeknownst...
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Sukkot – Finding Shelter in a Transient World

October 20, 2016
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Sukkot – Finding Shelter in a Transient World

Sukkot remembers that freedom came as the result of pitching tents over 14,600 days and honors the 43,000 meals prepared in the dessert. But more importantly Sukkot reminds us that God is everywhere and undermines the idolatry of rootedness. This doesn’t mean that home and hearth are bad values; rather it serves as a...
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Shabbat Shuvah: Re-Righting Our Stories

October 4, 2016
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Shabbat Shuvah:  Re-Righting Our Stories

Listen to an audio version “ I am now one hundred and twenty years old, I can no longer be active.” With that surprising realization, Moses begins his final address to the children of Israel. When Moses completes this address he will have accomplished what few others take the opportunity to do. With the...
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Nitsavim – Choose Life

September 28, 2016
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Nitsavim – Choose Life

Listen to an audio version God is dead! Or so some would say, such as Richard Rubinstein the esteemed former professor of religion at University of Florida and Bridgeport University. As a leading cultural analyst, and a most prominent “Death of God” theologians this is Rubinstein’s response to the horrific atrocities of humankind against...
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