d'Var Torah
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In the early years of his tenure as Temple Beth-El’s senior rabbi, William G. Braude was a hands-on activist in the community. Social action on behalf of those suffering social injustice was a core element of his rabbinate. But by the sixties … more
I remember sitting in my father’s car, waiting for him to return from visiting patients while I was trying to memorize the Four Questions for the Seder (or the Vier Kashes, as my parents called them in their Galitzianer Yiddish).  I had … more
In this week’s special Haftarah portion for Shabbat Parah, Ezekiel mandates rules for ideal behavior in the Temple. He regulates the sacrificial rites, assigns tasks among the priests and attempts to command orderly traffic patterns … more
As my feet crunch through the frozen snow, it’s hard to imagine that anything will wake up and start growing soon. Yet I am still hopeful, because in a few weeks we will celebrate Tu B’Shevat, the hidden awakening of the land. As I walk … more
Sometimes, people leave us unwritten messages. But they expect us to pick up on the cues and act on those messages. Rabbi Judah the Prince signaled an important message to us simply by the way he organized the Mishnah’s law collections … more
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
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