Torah Commentaries

Bo – Passover Lambs and Hesed Community

January 18, 2018
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Bo – Passover Lambs and Hesed Community

Listen to an audio version Every year the gift-giving season comes earlier and earlier, to the point that some desperate merchandisers try to lure us into their stores with X-mas in August promotional ads. But as we read Parashat Bo we should be taken with the concept of Passover in January, a reversal of...
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Va’eira – Four Stages of Liberation

January 11, 2018
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Va’eira – Four Stages of Liberation

Listen to an audio version We are just two weeks removed from the beginning of the  New Year  in accord with the western secular calendar, the one by which a majority of Jewish people worldwide conduct their normal life’s business. Many have  already s broken  the past year New Year’s resolutions; work harder, work less, spend...
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Shemot – What’s to Know?

January 3, 2018
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Shemot – What’s to Know?

Listen to an audio version What is in a name? This is an apropos question since this week’s parsha begins with lots of names. In fact it is called Names or Shemot in Hebrew. It begins v’aleh shemot b’nei yisrael (Exodus 1:1), “these are the names of the sons of Israel.” The narrative then...
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Vayechi – Body and Soul

December 26, 2017
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Vayechi – Body and Soul

Listen to an audio version The significance that this week’s parshah, Vayechi,is bookended by two deaths, those of Jacob and Joseph, is both unavoidable and undeniable. But the events concerning the burial of both patriarchs, and the emphasis on their skeletal remains are both enigmatic and intriguing. Both men make their successors swear to...
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Vayigash – Family Ties

December 21, 2017
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Vayigash – Family Ties

Listen to an audio version It has been said, “blood is thicker than water”. This platitude would suggest that family ties, though frequently tried are stronger than any other relational bonds that might be formed. This is simple proverbial wisdom. After all, no judge would allow the sibling of a defendant to sit on...
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Vayeshev – Servants of The Holy Blessing One

December 7, 2017
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Vayeshev – Servants of The Holy Blessing One

Listen to an audio version So often it would seem that the focus within American Judaism is on impressive edifices, building funds, synagogue attendance and business protocols – and why not? These values merely mirror those of our everyday lives. Sadly Judaism appears to have forgotten the purpose of Jewish identity. We were not...
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Vayishlach – Facing Fear

November 30, 2017
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Vayishlach – Facing Fear

Listen to an audio version Courage has many faces. It can mean saying no to compromise, or it can mean making a difficult compromise. It can entail dying a heroic death or living through terrible pain. It can mean fighting a good fight, or knowing when it is best for all to concede. But...
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Everybody Needs A Hero

September 25, 2017
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Everybody Needs A Hero

Listen to an audio version Everybody needs a hero, but often we do not get the one we expect. The parasha for Yom Kippur, Leviticus chapter 16, describes the heroic actions of Aaron the Cohen Gadol. Like most true heroes he had to rise to an occasion greater than anything on his resume. I...
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Vayelech – Re-Righting Our Stories

September 13, 2017
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Vayelech – Re-Righting Our Stories

  “I am now one hundred and twenty years old, I can no longer be active.” (Devarim 31:1) 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 completion of Devarim Moses...
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Ki Tavo – Lessons From The Storm

September 7, 2017
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Ki Tavo – Lessons From The Storm

The events of the past years have caused me to think a lot about the fragility of our world. It has only become more intensified over the past several months with the threat of nuclear war. The events of the past several weeks have caused me to feel even more distressed about the fragility...
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