Torah Commentaries

Noach – Dominion after the Deluge

October 15, 2015
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Noach – Dominion after the Deluge

Listen to an audio version B’reishit offers us unique insights concerning humankind’s responsibility to be both sovereign and servants over creation, and the lessons that we might learn about compassion from our furry friends who are the “other white meat” on this planet. Some might be surprised to learn that this week’s parasha Noach...
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B’reishit – Facing Our Other Side

October 7, 2015
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B’reishit – Facing Our Other Side

As we begin to explore this story of humankind outside the Garden of Eden, we like Cain should be uncomfortable with our first encounter being fratricidal murder.  Yet if we are honest with ourselves, we need to admit that we walk away with less emotional investment into this narrative, than we have into the...
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Tazria – Doctors of the Soul

April 15, 2015
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Tazria – Doctors of the Soul

Listen to an audio version The Kohen shall look at the affliction on the skin of the flesh: If the hair in the affliction has changed to white, and the affliction’s appearance is deeper than the skin of the flesh – it is a tzaras affliction; the Kohen shall look at it and declare...
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Vayakhel – Come Together

March 11, 2015
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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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Chaye Sarah – The Ongoing Miracle of a Life Well Lived

November 11, 2014
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Chaye Sarah – The Ongoing Miracle of a Life Well Lived

Listen to an audio version It is noteworthy that this week’s portion, which is entitled, Chaye Sarah, the life of Sarah, actually chronicles the matriarch’s death and burial, and her husband’s contemplative mourning. It begins though with a one sentence retrospective of her life. “Sarah’s lifetime was one hundred years, twenty years, and seven...
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A More Intimate Gathering

October 16, 2014
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A More Intimate Gathering

Listen to an audio version When I was a boy growing up in New York our family gatherings were like a scene out of the Barry Levinson movie Avalon. On Thanksgiving and Chanukah especially our get-togethers would involve not only our immediate family, but also an extended family of grandparents, aunts and uncles, great...
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Ki Tetse – Compassion In An UnJust World

September 1, 2014
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Ki Tetse – Compassion In An UnJust World

Listen to an audio version A number of years ago, while taking a leisurely walk with my wife and in-laws, we happened upon a very understated and unpublicized public demonstration. We had been visiting a local park well known for its exceptionally groomed rose gardens and went for a walk down a path that...
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Bechukotai – Peace Within and Without

May 13, 2014
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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

April 28, 2014
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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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Metzora – Concerning Lips and Lepers

April 1, 2014
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Metzora – Concerning Lips and Lepers

Listen to an audio version This year Parashot Tazria and Metzorah are separated so we can learn more than we ever wanted to know about how the Kohanim helped people cope with infectious disease and illness. Probably because it was so prevalent in the ancient Near East, Tzara’at, commonly called leprosy is the focus...
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