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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Dvar Torah Pinchas

Pinchas is an extremely problematic figure. The Jewish tradition developed several radically different approaches in teaching about this Torah portion. To bring you up to date. At the end of last week’s Torah portion Pinchas acts as judge, jury, and executioner. In his righteous indignation he kills a prince of the Jewish people, Zimri and […]

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This week’s Torah portion Chukat (Numbers 19:1 to 21:1) is a rich trove of paradoxical challenges. Understanding this Torah portion led our sages into new depths of textual and conceptual ingenuity. At the center of this Torah portion is the arational ritual of the parah adamah, “red heifer.” The red heifer ceremony addresses the search […]

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