Sidrahs

Shoftim

By Rabbi Pinchas Hackenbroch, September 1, 2011

In this innocuous verse the Torah enshrines a fundamental law of honesty and integrity that has had a profound influence in business ethics and our outlook vis à vis the financial world.

The verse, taken at face value, prohibits a person moving the boundaries of his land, thereby usurping illegally the land of his neighbour.

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Re'eh

By Rabbi Dr Charles Middleburgh, August 25, 2011

As the Israelites prepare to cross the Jordan into the Promised Land, Moses seizes one final opportunity to set them on the right path, warning them both how they must behave and what they must avoid.

This Shabbat we also recite the blessing for Rosh Chodesh Ellul, the month which precedes the High Holy Days. Moses's warnings resonate across the millennia to impact upon us at this season.

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Ekev

By Sally Berkovic, August 18, 2011

"Be a mensch and let us bensch" - it's summer camp time and many youth movements will be bensching (saying Grace after Meals).

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Va'etchanan

By Rabbi Benjamin Rickman, August 11, 2011

If the verses above are familiar, you have done well. They are read every year in the passage on the Four Sons at Seder. If thoughts of Pesach panic you, stay calm and keep reading. Judaism's grandeur is reflected in its ability to deal and actively encourage questions.

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Devarim

By Rabbi Miriam Berger, August 4, 2011

Whether you read the Torah using academic source criticism or as direct revelation from God at Sinai, the book of Deuteronomy is a synopsis of the other books of the Torah.

Parashat Devarim sets the tone of Moses' monologue.

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Massei

By Rabbi Pinchas Hackenbroch, July 28, 2011

There is much puzzlement over this verse. Why did the Torah first mention starting-points before journeys but then reverse the order?

The Dubno Maggid explains the difficulties with one of his famous parables. A stepson was severely mistreated by his stepmother. One day his father travelled to a distant city and arranged an excellent match for his son.

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Mattot

By Rabbi Dr Charles Middleburgh, July 21, 2011

In periods of recession it is only to be expected that families look carefully at their household budgets to ascertain where they can find savings.

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Pinchas

By Sally Berkovic, July 14, 2011

Did you tick the Jewish box in the recent Census? Were you willing to be counted as part of the Jewish people?
There was no opting out in this week's parashah. God instructed Moses and Elazar to count the male members of the community from the age of 20.

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Balak

By Rabbi Benjamin Rickman, July 7, 2011

It is quite possible that you have encountered people that ought to know better but conduct themselves as if they are blissfully ignorant of the correct thing to do. This week Balak, the king of Moab, wants to wage war against the Israelites.

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Chukkat

By Rabbi Miriam Berger, June 30, 2011

It cannot be a coincidence that in one parashah death is dealt with so extensively; Miriam and Aaron both die, Moses is sentenced to a premature death and many of the Israelites are wiped out in a plague. Parashat Chukkat teaches about the complexities of death, beginning with the idea that death is not something we can ever understand or rationalise.

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