Tag Archives: Torah

Noah: Relative righteousness

Six words. Six words to express a world of learning and hope and vision. It’s not easy to do , but it works when you pick the right six words. Like, “Shma Yisrael,Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai Echad”  Those are good words. … Continue reading

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Bereshit: Listen for the breath

It’s good to be back. I know I took a little time off from Jewish Gems, a weekly visit to the weekly parasha, but it’s a new year and the scroll has been rolled, and it’s Bereshit/Genesis, all is new….again. … Continue reading

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Pinchas: Passing the Torch

Succession planning. It’s the mark of a real leader, and Moses is nothing if not a real leader. As Dr. Hal Lewis, President and CEO of Spertus Institute wrote, “Moses sets the standard for all those involved in Jewish communal … Continue reading

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Chukat: Looking for sweet water

The waters of Meribah, bitter waters. We are drinking from them now. Miriam dies in this parasha, Chukat, and the Rabbis tell us that all the water that had been available to the people through the wilderness dries up. Naturally, … Continue reading

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Korach: False populism

Rav lachem.  (Num 16:3) You have gone too far. Or as Rashi (11th c France) translated, “You have too much” Or, as Ibn Ezra (12th c Spain) translated, “You have enough.” Here’s the setting: Korach, a Levite like Moses and … Continue reading

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Shelach l’cha: A wedding toast

Our niece got married last weekend. We were up in the Redwoods of Northern California  for the wedding.  It was pretty cold, actually, but it was the warmest group of people. Our niece has had some significant pain in her … Continue reading

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Naso: take time

Nasso. The chapter of rituals that aren’t in Leviticus. Odd rituals, strange, involving magical phrases, the power of haircuts and public extremism. I was at a Bar Mitzvah this last weekend, a mincha/afternoon service (so the young man had this … Continue reading

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