Sidrahs

Vayakhel-Pekudei

By David Mitchell, March 12, 2015

It is said that Michelangelo could look at a quite ordinary block of marble and see within it something exceptional - an exquisite statue of Moses, David or even Apollo.

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Ki Tissa

By Rabbi Jonny Hughes, March 5, 2015

There is a certain group of Hindus who shave their heads in acknowledgement of thanks to one of their deities. The temple collects the hair and sells it to wig manufacturers. Several years ago, leading rabbis of the generation asked whether Jewish women's sheitels (wigs) made from such hair were prohibited.

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Tetzaveh

By Rabbi Shulamit Ambalu, February 26, 2015

This is the Shabbat before Purim. Haman, the epitome of evil and sworn enemy of the Jews of the Book of Esther, is a descendant of the Amalekite King Agag. This is why we read two short verses from Deuteronomy this Shabbat, commanding us to "Remember Amalek… and to wipe out his memory". Does this mean that Haman was genetically programmed to hate us?

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Terumah

By Rabbi Elchonon Feldman, February 19, 2015

As an American, I grew up with the legend of Johnny Appleseed. More myth than man, he was accredited during the early 1800s with the dissemination of apple seeds across the expanse of Middle America, contributing to both a boon in fruit as well as promise for the emerging country.

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Mishpatim

By Gila Fine, February 13, 2015

A crowd began to gather in the courtyard, murmuring, pointing. Malkiel felt their stares piercing the back of his head. He glanced nervously at his master, who put his hoary hand over his. Malkiel was comforted.

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Yitro

By Rabbi David Mitchell, February 5, 2015

I'm writing this as I approach the end of a three-month sabbatical. This time-out from my regular pastoral and congregational commitments has been immensely rewarding; not least for the opportunity to study, think and recharge.

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Beshallach

By Rabbi Jonny Hughes, January 29, 2015

The philosopher Albert Camus said that the only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion. Growing up, I always wondered how one could actually attain this sense of pure liberty.

As this week's portion begins, the Jewish people triumphantly march out of Egypt. Irrevocable emancipation, though, still hangs in the balance.

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Bo

By Gila Fine, January 22, 2015

The gods hate weakness. Khyan bit his lip, trying not to cry. The black mist around him was thick and dank. A palpable darkness. He lay huddled with his sister, shivering and hungry. They hadn't eaten in three, maybe four, days. "Mut, mut", his sister whimpered, but their mother never came. "Stop crying", scolded Khyan. "We must be strong.

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Va'era

By Rabbi Elchonon Feldman, January 15, 2015

Stress just isn't great for the human body and spirit. Common physical effects can include changes in eating or sleeping patterns, weakness, dizziness and even increased susceptibility to infection. Emotional manifestations will not be pleasant either. Stress creates a proclivity towards hostile or angry feelings, increased nervousness, anxiety and even depression.

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Shemot

By Rabbi Shulamit Ambalu, January 8, 2015

Moses, raised in Pharaoh's house, finally grows up. He goes to out see his brothers, and the very first thing he sees is an Egyptian overseer striking a Hebrew slave. Turning this way and that, Moses strikes the Egyptian dead and buries him in the sand.

The very next day he goes out again.

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