Without Another Word | Parashat Vayigash

Last week’s Torah portion concluded when Joseph accused his brothers of stealing his goblet and promised to enslave Benjamin. At the outset of Parashat Vayigash,…

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Parashat Pinchas

In life we do not always accomplish our dreams. We anticipate, for example, retirement hoping on leaving behind us a legacy; yet, often times that road to glory can be tricky. Unexpected results can alter those cherished hopes. How does Moses’ inward thinking about God’s announcement that he be forbidden to enter the Promised Land […]

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Turning Fear into a Blessing (Parashat Balak)

Imagine the scenario:  just across the border, a significant number of people are gathering. They come from a different place, they speak a different language, and they have different cultural norms. We can all imagine what would happen.

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Resolutions Presented at the International Assembly of the World Union May 2017

In accordance with protocol, Carole Sterling as chair empaneled a resolutions committee to spearhead the process of requesting, formulating and editing possible resolutions to be introduced before the IA at the meeting on 17-May 2017, at 14.00-16.30, in Jerusalem, prior to the opening of CONNECTIONS 2017. The committee was chaired by Philip Bliss of Australia, […]

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Miriam and the Missing Leadership of Women: A Commentary on Chukkat (Parashat Chukkat)

After a lacuna in the Torah text of thirty-eight years, the narrative resumes once again in Parashat Chukkat, Numbers chapter 20 verse 1, with the death of Miriam. What do we know about Miriam? First: Big sister (unnamed), she helps her mother to save her baby brother, whose life is threatened by the Pharaoh’s decree […]

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Parashat Shelach-Lecha

Jackie Robinson was hired in 1947 as the first black Major League Baseball player. Despite malicious racist harassment and constant verbal and even physical attacks, he always played fearlessly and professionally. He knew he was the equal of any white player. Throughout his career, he managed to ignore the racism that raged around him, and […]

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Parashat Beha’alotcha

“When you set the lamps, let the seven lamps give light at the front of the lampstand” (Bamidbar 8:2). Aharon has been told by God to place the golden menorah in the Mishkan in such a way that the light will shine to the front.  Aharon could have made the angle of the menora so […]

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To Lift Up and be Lifted Up (Parashat Naso)

The Hebrew word “Naso” means “to lift up” and with this word God commanded Moses and Aaron to “lift up” the Children of Israel by concluding the census. It is a curious idea at first glance, to “lift up” in order to take a census, but it makes sense.

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Community Leadership and the Common Good | Parashat Bamidbar

There are periods in our lives in which we are neither here nor there. When we leave home, our land or our community and take Avraham Avinu as our example of Lech Lecha, moving toward a place we do not know, everything is seem to be difficult. We were accustomed to the people, to our home, to the streets and avenues of our city, and above all we knew how to deal with known troubles, for we knew o ground and how to keep walking there.

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Torah from Around the World #321

A month ago I was sitting in an elementary school classroom on plastic chairs waiting for Friday night Shabbat Services to begin in the town of Gedera, which is south of Rechovot. This is an amazing congregation which has fought in court against the local government in order to win the right to hold their Shabbat services in a local elementary school.

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