d'Var Torah
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In both last week’s Torah portion, Shemot, and this week’s Torah portion, Va’era, God instructs Moses to go to Pharaoh and free the Israelite people from Egyptian bondage. Moses is afraid that Pharaoh won’t listen to him, and so … more
With the secular new year of 2015 upon us and the new Facebook year in review feature gathering steam, it’s only natural to think of our goals and dreams for the upcoming year. Wishes for a new year quickly turn to resolutions, themselves quickly … more
Parashat VayishlachGenesis 32:4 – 36:43 “Jacob said: No, please, if I have truly found favor in your sight, take the offering from my hand, for to see your face is like seeing the face of God, and you have already shown me favor.” (Genesis … more
Who has time to pray these days? We barely get to talk to our friends and family, so who has time to talk to God?  Young Jacob is running away from home to escape the jealous rage of his brother Esau. Mom and dad have promised him Divine … more
In a recent interview in Reform Judaism magazine about renewing Jewish prayer, Rabbi Nancy Flam (no relation) one of the founders of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, says, “we must move away from ‘attending services’ to ‘engaging in … more
I am grateful to my beloved predecessor at Temple Beth-El, my cherished teacher William Braude, who shared something new with me about this week’s familiar Torah portion. It begins with the words: “These are the toldot, the generators … more
Our Torah reading for Hol ha-Mo’ed Sukkot records one of Moses’ biggest blunders – the breaking of the first set of tablets in anger. Our text continues with the giving of the second set of tablets and a list detailing God’s … more
The Shabbat in between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is called Shabbat Shuvah (The Sabbath of Repentance or Return). Falling in between these two most holy days, this Shabbat, and all the days in between, are our time to focus on the task … more
As the High Holy Day season and the New Year 5775 are about to begin, it is time for us to engage in the serious process of heshbon ha-nefesh: taking a spiritual accounting of our souls, making amends for our shortcomings of the past year and … more
The events of the last month in Israel have us reeling. It is not just the needless death and destruction, the pointless violence and suffering that grieves us. After events like the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli and one Palestinian youth, … more
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