Sidrahs

Beshallach

By Rabbi Daniel Beller, January 24, 2013

A common claim is that were we to experience miracles on the scale of the Exodus, then belief in God would be an altogether easier proposition. The problem is that the biblical text simply does not bear this out.

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Bo

By Rabbi Michael Pollak, January 18, 2013

And so the Jewish calendar, with its amalgam of lunar and solar elements, is born. It is part a solar calendar based around days and weeks, all neatly adding up to almost exactly the amount of time it takes the earth to travel once around the sun.

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Va'era

By Rabbi Shoshana Boyd Gelfand, January 11, 2013

Every school child knows that Moses had a speech impediment. Rashi claims that it was a physical problem, while modern psychologists suggest that perhaps he stuttered or had a psychological issue due to being taken from his biological mother at a young age.

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Shemot

By Rabbi Jeremy Bruce, January 3, 2013

The slavery in Egypt and the subsequent salvation is the foundation story of our people. God’s instruction to Moses to redeem his people has inspired Jews and non-Jews alike throughout the generations. But are the Israelites required to go through this tremendous ordeal?

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Vayechi

By Rabbi Rebecca Qassim Birk, December 27, 2012

In the last portion of Genesis, why does this verse begin with vayiru, they saw, just after the previous verse describes the sons burying their father Jacob? Wasn’t it obvious they knew their father was dead? The information seems unnecessary, but no word is superfluous in Torah.

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Vayigash

By Rabbi Daniel Beller, December 24, 2012

To establish a covenant with remarkably righteous individuals such as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is easy. But to maintain it with an entire nation is an almost impossible task. Mistakes will be made and wrongs committed. How, then, can the covenant be held together without rejecting anyone?

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Mikketz

By Rsbbi Michael Pollak, December 13, 2012

Over the centuries our bookshelves have been blessed by many new Torah commentaries in every language imaginable. As a result we have tended to ignore the greatest commentary of them all, the Tanach. This week’s parashah illustrates how the Tanach often refers to and helps us understand the Torah.

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Vayeshev

By Rabbi Shoshana Boyd Gelfand, December 6, 2012

We all have dreams. Whether you consider them to be neurological workings of the brain or messages from God, they are part of what it means to be human. They can inspire us and they can destroy us, sometimes both.

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Vayishlach

By Rabbi Jeremy Bruce, November 29, 2012

Amalek is the ancestor of the Jewish people’s eternal enemy, a nation whose utter destruction remains, at least theoretically, incumbent on all Jews. In the Book of Exodus we read how Amalek launches an unprovoked attack on the Children of Israel shortly after their departure from Egypt.

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Vayetzei

By Rabbi Rebecca Qassim Birk, November 29, 2012

We named our first child Reuben. It was the meaning that appealed: “Behold/See a son”.  It described the celebratory moment of a first bursting into our lives with all the anticipation of who he would be and the changes he would bring.

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