The opening words of this week’s Torah portion may not seem like an extraordinary statement at first sight: “Moses spoke to the heads of the Israelite tribes, saying: This is what the [Eternal] has commanded…” (Numbers 30:2.) Next we find an explanation of the laws regarding making vows, after which we read about a military […]

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The Torah portion for this week, apart from laws and other stories, contains also the one about daughters of Tzelafchad petition Moses that they be granted the portion of the land belonging to their father, who died without sons. God accepts their claim and incorporates it into the Torah’s laws of inheritance. (Num 27:1-11) This […]

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The memory of the line of women from Wrocław waiting for the possibility to draw water from the well accompanies me as I read about the key role of Biblical women in supplying the people of Israel with water. In the Book of Genesis the first verses dedicated both to Rivka and to Rachel describe […]

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In this week’s Torah portion Shlach Lecha (Hebrew for: “Send for Yourself”) Moses sends twelve spies whose task is to gather information about the Land of Canaan. After they complete their spying mission they are supposed to go back to Moses and tell him that it is indeed a land flowing with milk and honey. […]

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Finding good leaders for our congregations is an ongoing challenge, one that exists whether you are in Alaska or New Zealand. This week’s portion offers us guidance in finding the right leaders, in the story of two very minor characters. I’ve never met a person with the Hebrew name Eldad or Medad. These figures rarely […]

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A Woman Accused | Parashat Naso

I am an avid reader. I enjoy most genres and love to get suggestions from my colleagues and friends. I will start a novel just because a trusted friend recommended it, without researching its topic or other reviews. I also enjoy rereading the classics. Occasionally, when rereading a story, an image or a plot twist […]

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Finding our value in the desert

Desert – Midbar. Parched earth. Scorching sun. Bitterly cold nights. Hardly conditions anyone would call inviting. Every time I start reading parashat Bamidbar I feel similarly not invited by the text to continue reading. Bamidbar is the first parasha of the Book of Numbers for a good reason. Truly, it has enough numbers to make […]

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If you follow My laws and faithfully observe My commandments, I will grant your rains in their season, so that the earth shall yield its produce and the trees of the field their fruit. (Lev 26:3-4) Until the discoveries of Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo most people believed that the sun circled a flat earth. There […]

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BEIT WARSZAWA INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES

Lord, where shall I find you? Your place is lofty and secret. And where shall I not find you? The whole earth is full of your glory! You are found in our innermost heart, yet you fixed earth’s boundaries. You are a strong tower for those who are near and the trust of those who […]

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Parashat Acharei Mot-K’doshim 5778

This shall be for you a law for the ages, to effect atonement for the Children of Israel from all their sins, once a year.  And (Aharon) did as the Eternal commanded Moshe.  (Lev. 16:34) Virtually, the entire book of Leviticus imagines God speaking to Moses.  It is all instruction and no action.  One significant […]

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