The Divine is No Ordinary Parent: Lessons from One God to One People | Parashat Noach

The Divine One is no ordinary parent. After creating the earth and all the beings within it and seeing what a mess that humans can…

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The Divine is No Ordinary Parent: Lessons from One God to One People | Parashat Noach

The Divine One is no ordinary parent. After creating the earth and all the beings within it and seeing what a mess that humans can make of it, God makes an amazing and brilliant parental statement: “I will clean up your mess only once. Creation is a miracle and a gift to you. Whether you make the best or the worst of it, the consequences and responsibility are yours.”

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Humanity’s Power Struggle with Nature | Parashat Bereshit

Rabbi Matthew Kaufman, PhD | Congregation Kehillat Israel, Michigan, USA “God said, ‘Let us make Adam in our image, after our likeness. They shall rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the cattle, the whole earth, and all the creeping things that creep on earth.’” (Genesis 1:26) At the very moment […]

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Our Hope for Rain | Parashat Shmini Atzeret

Rabbi David Feder | Temple Beth Israel-Shaare Zedek, Ohio, USA Shmini Atzeret, the Eighth Day of Assembly, is nearly forgotten as a festival. Even in ancient times, it seemed as if people just wanted to make it an additional day of Sukkot and the rabbis had to create means by which to separate it from […]

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Let us Build a Sukkat Shalom, a Canopy of Peace | Sukkot

Rabbi Dr. Steven Moss | Rabbi Emeritus of B’nai Israel Reform Temple, New York, USA “Celebrate this as a festival to Adonai for seven days each year. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come; celebrate it in the seventh month. Live in temporary shelters for seven days: All native-born Israelites […]

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Remembering the Past to Create our Future | Parashat Ha’azinu

Three poems in the Torah are ascribed to Moses himself. The first in order of appearance is Shirat Hayam, the Song of the Sea (Exodus 15). The third is V’zot Habracha (Deuteronomy 33), in which Moses blesses the Israelite tribes before they cross the Jordan to go into the land. The second poem, named after its first word, Ha’azinu- Give ear, yields the name of our parasha.

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Hayom Harat Olam | Rosh Hashanah

By Rabbi Jonas Jacquelin | After each set of the shofar blowing during the Rosh Hashana service we say “Hayom Harat Olam”: “Today is the Birthday of the Word” or perhaps more precisely “Today is the gestation of the World”.

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Choosing in a Time of Uncertainty | Parashat Nitzavim-Vayelech

We approach 5781 after a summer (at least in the Northern Hemisphere) which has been different, to say the least. Few summer camps were operating, most people adjusted their summer travel plans to account for the reality swirling about us, and many of us just stayed close to home.

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The Art of Writing in the Face of Adversity | Parashat Ki Tavo

We are living through a time when people all over the world are calling for reform. People are calling for fair and equal treatment before the law. The headlines talks of oppression. Judaism is no stranger to searching for change. And almost always, the movement for change includes a text from the Bible.

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Should the Door to Peace Always Be Open? | Parashat Shoftim

For the past nine and half years, I have met weekly with a group dedicated Torah students to explore the parashat hashavua. Our group of dedicated students follow in the footsteps of generations before us who make the study of the weekly portion central to their Judaism. Of course, as a group of progressive Jews, the issue of morality and justice are always on our minds. Does the text offer us ethical guidance? Are there times when the text appears to fail in giving us the moral guidance that we seek?

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