The Uniqueness of Listening in Silence | Parashat Ki Tavo

Rabbi James Bennett, Congregation Shaare Emeth, St. Louis, Missouri, USA From the moment I awaken, I emerge from silence into sound.  I am inundated by sound. We all are. The noise of our alarms, the whir of the fan in our air conditioner or heater, the buzz of the electricity in our lights, the water […]

A Core Jewish Value | Parashat Ki Tetze

Rabbi Linda Henry Goodman | Union Temple of Brooklyn, New York, USA The Book of Deuteronomy is, in effect, the “swan song” of Moses, as he stands with Joshua and the Israelites on the bank of the Jordan River.  As the Torah draws to a close, and along with it, our calendar year, we read […]

Trust God… and Yourself | Parashat Shoftim

Rabbi Menno ten Brink | Liberal jewish Congregation of Amsterdam, The Netherlands When reading Parashat Shoftim I am back in time. I find myself again at Leo Baeck College in London, where I studied some 30 years ago to become a rabbi. In the meantime, I find myself in my 26th year in the rabbinate […]

The Mitzvah of Gratitude | Parashat Ekev

Rabbi Neal I. Borovitz Parshat Ekev teaches us a transcendent lesson of Jewish living. Long before day-planners, computers and smart phones, with calendars and apps that reminder us constantly of what we are supposed to be doing, the Rabbinic interpretation of the Torah enabled Jews to schedule our lives, “by Jewish time” and thereby remind […]

Do We Ever Reach The Promised Land? | Parashat Va’etchanan

Rabbi Harry Rosenfeld| Congregation Albert, Albuquerque, New Mexico Va’etchanan begins with Moses’ lamenting to the people that because of his action of disobeying God at the Waters of Bitterness God punished him by not allowing him to enter the land of Canaan (see Parashat Chukat, Num. 20.) Moses would not see his efforts beginning in […]

Visions for Jerusalem | Parashat Devarim

Rabbi Dr. Ulrike Offenberg | Juedische Gemeinde Hameln, DEU Legend has it that Napoleon was once riding through Paris (others say: through Vilna) when he heard crying and lamenting voices from a synagogue he was passing. He had his entourage inquire what had happened and they brought back the message that the Jews were mourning about […]

Fairness Awareness | Parashat Matot-Masei

Rabbi Becky Hoffman | Associate Rabbi and Religious School Director, Temple Kol Tikvah, Woodland Hills, CA Is fairness learned or is it innate? In a study of capuchin monkeys, Professor Frans de Waal showed that monkeys understand the concept of fairness[1].  In the experiment, he placed 2 monkeys in clear cages side by side.  The […]

How “Peace, order and good government” Trump | Parashat Pinchas

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.   Rabbi Jeffrey Ableser | Temple Beth El of Flint, Michigan, USA Why would an eighteen verse story in BeMidbar be cut in half and read over two Torah portions? Our Torah portion, Pinchas, is problematic for a number of reasons. It starts out with the grandson of […]

Truth to Power | Parashat Balak

In today’s day and age, it is almost trite to talk about the power of words. Trite, because unless you’ve been living under a rock, this generation can communicate the most trivial of things to the farthest reaches of the world in the blink of an eye.