Torah Commentaries

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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Ki Tavo – Do Not Neglect Nor Transgress

September 21, 2016
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Ki Tavo – Do Not Neglect Nor Transgress

Listen to an audio version …lo avarti mi’mitzvoteycha v’lo sha’chachti “I have neither transgressed nor neglected any of your commandments” (Devarim 26:13). This is the pledge that God commanded the children of Israel to declare every third year after removing their tithe from their premises and having given it to the Levites and the...
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Ki Tetse – Making Sense of the “Texts of Terror”

September 15, 2016
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Ki Tetse – Making Sense of the “Texts of Terror”

If we are to be perfectly honest, much of the law codes reorganized and restated in the book of Devarim seem oddly archaic, highly impractical, and at times, even disturbingly unethical! This week’s parashah, Ki Teitse is chocked full of very specific ordinances and stipulations and therefore present many of these apparent difficulties. The...
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Kedoshim – A Good Name

May 12, 2016
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Kedoshim – A Good Name

Listen to an audio version I have spent a significant amount of time over the past two decades teaching in various and sundry churches concerning the importance and efficacy of the people of Israel. It has always been my intention to articulate the ongoing relationship between the God of Israel and the People of...
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Acharei Mot – Real Food for Real Men

May 5, 2016
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Acharei Mot – Real Food for Real Men

Listen to an audio version Recently I was in a Barnes and Noble and was surprised to discover that while the Judaism and the Spirituality sections seemed to be shrinking, the largest book section by far was the one dedicated to Paranormal Romance novels. Spawned by the phenomenal success of the Twilight series, teen...
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Shabbat Parah – Get Ready For Change

April 1, 2016
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Shabbat Parah – Get Ready For Change

I have always thought that cheshbon hanefesh, literally a reckoning with one’s own soul was a practice most appropriate at the beginning of Elul, the month that preceded Rosh Hashanah. To this end Rabbi Israel Salanter, founder of the nineteenth century Mussar revival, undertook a forty day period of silence annually, from the beginning...
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Vayera – A Rock Feels No Joy

October 28, 2015
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Vayera – A Rock Feels No Joy

Listen to an audio version I Am A Rock by Paul Simon A winter’s day in a deep and dark December I am alone gazing from my window to the ground below The earth’s beneath a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow I am a rock. I am an island. And a rock feels...
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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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