d'Var Torah
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Whenever we start reading the Book of Leviticus, or Vayikra, as it is known in Hebrew, I begin to feel guilty. Vayikra is dominated by chapter after chapter that define the laws of sacrifices. As … more
Imagine the scene: Moses is up on Mount Sinai, listening to God’s words – which somehow end up written on tablets of stone. Did Moses write those words? Were … more
Parashat Terumah This week, we read the first of five Torah portions dedicated almost entirely to the building of the mishkan, the portable Temple that the Israelites took with them throughout … more
Our Torah readings these days focus on the wanderings of our ancestors in the desert on their way to the Promised Land. These peregrinations would take some getting used to.  The lives they had … more
We make choices every day. We get up in the morning and decide what to eat for breakfast, where to go from our homes, whom we will see, what we will say and what we will do with our lives. … more
Once upon a time, there arose a new ruler. This new ruler deliberately ignored the accomplishments of the foreigner who had made the country prosper in hard times.  He impugned the loyalty of … more
My first four years in Israel were spent in Jerusalem in the first half of the 1970s. Whenever I see the name of the portion, Vayigash, my memory takes me back to standing in line in … more
When the winter reaches its coldest and darkest days, we tap into the power of light and fire. The Ramchal, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato (18th century) taught that each year when we return to … more
Imagine this: Jacob, fleeing from the wrath of his brother Esau, notices that it is getting dark and realizes he should camp for the night. Although it isn’t the most comfortable location, he … more
In the book of Genesis, a book whose first words are “In the beginning,” almost every experience is new: the first human beings (Adam and Eve), the first murder (Cain murders his brother, … more
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