Parashat Pekudei | On Tzedakah, Giving and Supporting Israel

The cold desert sand found its way in between my toes as I walked silently through a small patch of the Arava wilderness. The hues of the early morning sun glistened off the mountains of Edom leaving me in a moment of awe at the sheer beauty of my surroundings and of those who make their lives there. This fleeting ephemeral moment of ‘at-oneness’ with nature was transformed as I stepped into the garden.

Torah from Around the World #369

Recent Issues By: Rabbi Benjie Gruber, Rabbi at Temple Har Zion Toronto and Scholar in Residence for ARZA Canada The Cherubim – Were They Jewish? As the building of the Tabernacle begins we have a chance to glance at the process of the building of the first Jewish Temple. These two parashot pretty much focus […]

Torah from Around the World #314

Recent Issues By: Rabbi Mark Goldsmith, Alyth – North Western Reform Synagogue , Temple Fortune, London, UK Twitter: @alythsyn @rabbimarkg Building a Synagogue Every modern synagogue has its own style. Sometimes it comes about by accident, sometimes by design, sometimes pushed in a particular way by the most active members or donors, and sometimes the […]

Torah from Around the World #263

Recent Issues By Rabbi Benjie Gruber, Rabbi of Kibbutz Yahel and the Arava Region As we find ourselves after Purim, and Pesach is coming close, we read two Torah portions dealing almost only with the creation of the Temple in the desert, the Mishkan, the tabernacle. What is this all about? But more importantly: What […]

Torah from around the world #207

by Rabbi Dana Evan Kaplan , Congregation Shaare Shalom, Kingston, Jamaica The observance and remembrance of Shabbat is the fourth of the Ten Commandments. It is a perpetual covenant between God and the Israelites (Exodus 31:13–17). As Jews, we know this and we respect this. As Progressive Jews, we believe that we have the intellectual […]

Torah from around the world #106

by Rabbi Steve Burnstein , Director, Anita Saltz IEC , Jerusalem. In this week’s double Torah portion, Vayakhel-Pekudei, we read in tremendous detail about the work of Bezalel, the renowned artist of the Jewish people, as he builds the mishkan or Tabernacle. “ He made the lampstand of pure gold… he made the poles of […]

Torah from Around the World #157

by Rabbi Benjie Gruber, Rabbi of Kibbutz Yahel, Progressive Judaism, Arava Region and Eilat This week we have the wonderful chance of reading two portions – Vayakhel (“he assembled”) and Pekude (“the numbers”). We say goodbye to the book of Exodus-Shemot and prepare ourselves to spend a few weeks with animal parts and the mishkan. […]

Some Thoughts on Parashat Vayakhel

This week’s Parasha Vayakhel opens with Moses convening a special meeting of the entire Israelite congregation.  Those of us with experience in congregational life might imagine him standing up in front with a roll of blueprints under his arm, congregational officers sitting on the dais along with representatives from the architectural firm as well as the general contractors, and delivering an inspirational speech to kick off the fund raising campaign. 

Torah from around the world #11

11 March 2010 / 25 Adar 5770 Five years have passed since I helped the newly formed English-speaking ex-pat congregation in Brussels find its way. The first, somewhat primitive, synagogue was set up, the bimah and the Ark had been made, the first prayer books were printed, and my congregation in Amsterdam had loaned them […]

Torah from Around the World #368

Recent Issues By: Rabbi Jack Luxemburg, Temple Beth Ami , Rockville, Maryland, USA In this week’s Torah portion, the spiritual relationship between a leader and his/her people is explored through the events surrounding the episode of Egel HaZahav – the Golden Calf. Our ancestors experienced Moses’ long stay on Mt. Sinai as abandonment and loss. […]