Posts Tagged ‘torah portion’

Faces vase optical illusion. Wooden textured 3d figure-ground perception. In psychology known as identifying figure from background. Vector illustration over white.

This Week’s Torah Portion: Remembering How to See

Parshat Ki Tisa: Exodus 30:11-34:35; I Kings 18:1-339 By Rabbi Michael Zimmerman   Two Jews, three opinions.” Our people are no strangers to controversy, which is fine as long as our perspectives are grounded in understanding, a commitment to the greater good (our sages spoke of machlochet b’shem shamayim — controversy for the sake of…

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This Week’s Torah Portion: Appropriate Appearance

Parshat Tetzaveh: Exodus 27:20-30:10; Ezekiel 43:10-27. By Rabbi Simone Schicker I often find people come to me to express their belief that much of Torah is irrelevant in their life, that it is outdated. That Jews in the modern world, without a Mishkan or Temple, have little to learn from much of the Torah. This…

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This Week’s Torah Portion: Our Divine Relationship

By Rabbi David Fain Parshat Terumah: Exodus 25:1-27:19; I Kings 5:26-6:13. This week’s Torah portion invites us to focus on what is actually central to our Judaism, our relationship with God. Amidst our busy lives, it is easy to lose sight of this relationship. Initially, we read about Moshe standing on Har Sinai encountering God.…

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What Of Free Will?

Why does God declare that He has “hardened Pharaoh’s heart” so that the despot will not change his mind and free the Israelites? Doesn’t this collide head on with our notion of free will? Is the Torah telling us that God interrupts the ordinary course of human events to introduce His will into the hearts…

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Parshat Balak: Numbers 22:2-25:9; Micah 5:6-6:8. donkey ass going up to mount sinai.

Weekly Torah Portion – That Still Small Voice

Parshat Balak: Numbers 22:2-25:9; Micah 5:6-6:8 Sometimes wisdom comes from the voices we least expect. In Balak, it comes from an ass. Sometimes wisdom comes from the voices we hold close to our hearts. In my life, that voice is often my late father-in-law, Robert Long. These vastly disparate voices come together for me in…

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Engraved illustration from "The Sunday at Home " September 10th 1864

Weekly Torah Portion – Try, Try Again

Parshat Shelach Lecha: Numbers 13:1-15:41; Joshua 2:1-24. In this week’s Torah portion, 12 spies are sent to check out the land God promised the Israelites. Among them is Joshua, Moses’ personal assistant, chosen from the tribe of Ephraim. It was Joshua’s first big solo assignment, his first shot at real leadership. He must have been…

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WANTS and NEEDS written on luggage tags on blue background. Business concept. Top view.

Weekly Torah Portion – Wants Vs. Needs

Parshat Bachaalotekha: Numbers 8:1-12:16; Zachariah 2:14-4:7 Think back to your childhood, and I’m sure you can remember a time you received a birthday or Chanukah gift that you did not like. Possibly the giver of the gift perceived your explicit or implicit disappointment. Now, jump ahead to adulthood, and you realize that a polite “thank…

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Weekly Torah Portion – Building Trust

Parshat Naso: Numbers 4:21-7:89; Judges 13:2-25. Jealousy — it is the “jaundice of the soul” as Dryden said. It is “a monster begot upon itself, born on itself” as Shakespeare proclaimed. The Hebrew word for jealousy is Kin’ah — and in this week’s Torah portion, we see the disastrous effects of what jealousy or suspicion…

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Weekly Torah Portion – A Road Map For The Journey

Parshat Bamidbar: Numbers 1:1-4:20; Hosea 2:1-22 This Shabbat, we begin the reading of the book of Bamidbar, Numbers, which chronicles much of the journey of the Exodus. We always begin the reading of Bamidbar very close to the holiday of Shavuot, the holiday commemorating the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai. While this is…

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Tractor spraying soybean field at spring for the Torah Portion

Weekly Torah Portion – Survival Of The Land

Parshat Behar-Bechukotei: Leviticus 25:1-27:34; Jeremiah 16:19-17:14. The Jewish people are commanded to observe a day of rest every seven days. While many know about Shabbat, fewer are aware that the land is supposed to have a Shabbat as well. What exactly is a Shabbat for the fields? In Israel, every seven years is known as…

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