Dvar Torah Haazinu – Jewish Memories

By: Rabbi Ferenc Raj, PhD, Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Beth El, Berkeley, CA, USA; Founding Rabbi, Congregation Bet Orim, Budapest, Hungary “Our existence is not in vain. There is a Divine earnestness about our life. This is our dignity. To be invested with dignity means to represent something more than oneself. The gravest sin for a Jew […]

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Dvar Torah Vayeilech

By: Rabbi Bennett F. Miller, Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple, New Brunswick, NJ, USA  Change is Certain; Don’t take surveys; and Don’t be dismayed! Ah! The parashah between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur! In the midst of the time of the year when we are considering “who will live and who will die… who will be […]

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We are standing on the precipice of a New Year, 5777. The Torah portion introduces the moment of decision is called Nitzaviim. This term might be translated as “standing at attention.” Every year on the Shabbat before Rosh HaShanah we are “at attention.” We are reminded that we are entering these days as a collectivity, […]

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Dvar Torah Ki Tavo

This week’s Torah reading celebrates the bringing of the first fruits (Deut. 26: 1 – 11) While in the forty years of wanderings the observance of some of the Torah’s teachings were on a theoretical level. Now during the last parts of Moses address in Deuteronomy he directs the people to focus on what happens […]

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The technical answer to the question is contained in the ordering of the words in the book of Genesis. “There was evening and there was morning … day one..” Each of the days of creation are counted from the evening. The verse seems to reflect a Jewish sensibility for a close reading of the word order in the […]

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Dvar Torah Shoftim

The opening days of our annual spiritual mobilization begins with the dawning of the month of Ellul (September 4). In the minds of many the recitation of penitential prayers and confessional prayers foreshadows the “day of reckoning” Yom Kippur. But some dare to seek another motivation! For thirty days leading up to the new year […]

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Dvar Torah Re’eh – Two Roads

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy […]

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Dvar Torah Eikev

The 15th of Av, considered to be the Jewish equivalent of Valentine’s Day, was already celebrated during last week’s Shabbat. However, it is in this week’s Torah portion and Haftarah that we read about love: the love of God towards people and of people towards God. Already in the second sentence of our Torah portion […]

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Dvar Torah Devarim / Tisha B’Av

Do the teachings about the Temple (Beit HaMikdash) and the Exile (Galut) Remain Relevant? This coming Shabbat is the 9th Day of Av, Tisha b-Av. The Shabbat’s Torah reading is the opening of Moses’ oration encompassing most of the book Deuteronomy (Devarim). We will focus on this book next week. Our focus this week is […]

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Dvar Torah Matot-Masei

The double Torah portion Matot-Masei concludes the Book of Bemidbar – it therefore ends the history of the Exodus from Egypt – we could say that it “brings the Torah to a conclusion” (the Book of Devarim is a recollection of the events described in the previous Books of Torah). Before the Israelites enter the […]

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