Sidrahs

Ki Tetzei

By Rabbi Jonny Hughes, August 26, 2015

Most of us are born with an ingrained trait of hatred. For me, it started off with marmite and has found more sophisticated victims since. Unless we attempt to rid ourselves of our natural venom, it will come back to haunt us, even if we think we have risen above it.

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Shoftim

By Rabbi Shulamit Ambalu, August 20, 2015

Do not mess about with "soothsayers, mediums and people who talk to the dead. You must be wholehearted", or in Hebrew, tamim yihyeh, "with the Eternal your God". The image of the tam is known to us from the Seder, the simple child. Yet tam in Torah is not as simple as we think. Two individuals are specifically called tam. The first is Jacob, ish tam, a man who is tam.

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Re’eh

By Rabbi Elchonon Feldman, August 12, 2015

"You are children of the Lord, your God. You shall neither cut yourselves nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead" Deuteronomy 14:1

Bereavements come in different ways but when they occur, the impact can be devastating. It is in this context that we approach the verse in our Torah prohibiting excessive outward displays of grief and mourning.

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Ekev

By Felicia Epstein, August 6, 2015

God challenged and tested the Jewish people with the manna in the desert, the food given them without their having to work the land. His unusual food symbolised the people's dependence on God. Every day the people had to trust that the manna would come as it would only last for one day.

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Va'etchanan

By Rabbi David Mitchell, July 30, 2015

It was quite a surprise to discover that the word "teach" appears nowhere in the Shema.

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Devarim

By Rabbi Jonny Hughes, July 21, 2015

Ever sat on a beach at night, gazing up at the stars? Well, think about the following the next time you try it. In this week's sidrah, Moses tells God that the Jewish nation is too burdensome for him to carry alone. Why? Because they are comparable to the profusion of stars.

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Mattot-Massei

By Rabbi Shulamit Ambalu, July 16, 2015

Talmud scholars round the world will notice this week that the tractate we are learning each day, Nedarim, or Vows, is based on the opening of this parashah. "When a man makes a vow to the Eternal, or takes an oath imposing an obligation on himself, he shall not profane his words, all that crosses his lips, he must do."

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Pinchas

By Rabbi Elchonon Feldman, July 9, 2015

In his scholarly masterpiece Ein Yaakov, Rabbi Jacob ibn Habib (1460-1516, Spain) quotes an aggadic tradition that debates which verse in the Torah is most significant and important.

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Balak

By Felicia Epstein, June 30, 2015

Perhaps the most dangerous challenge which the Jewish people faced during their 40 years in the desert was neither the Golden Calf nor the vicious attack by the Amalekites, but the moral challenge posed at Shittim by the cult of Baal Peor.

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Chukkat

June 25, 2015

Many non-Jewish seminaries laud the psychological benefits of our demarcated approach to mourning. Unsurprisingly, other clergy enquire about our bereavement rituals.

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