Sunday, April 20, 2014 Nisan 20, 5774

PINCHAS, Numbers 25:10-30:1
By:
Rabbi Michael Holzman
Although this week's parshah begins midway through the story of its namesake, the zealous grandson of Aaron, who brutally killed an Israelite who cohabited with a Midianite woman, I want to focus attention first on an episode that comes later in the portion. After resolving the Pinchas story -- God grants the impassioned young priest his brit shalom, "Covenant of...
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By:
Every year on the eve of Shavuot -- the spring festival holiday that marks God's giving of the Torah to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai -- Jews traditionally gather to study, discuss and analyze a chosen set of religious texts. So in that vein, organizers of a July 3 event at Congregation Mikveh Israel wondered: Why not apply that...
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CHUKAT-BALAK Numbers 19:1-25:9
By:
Rabbi David Gutterman
Here's the scenario: A man who has dedicated his entire adult life to his people, who has given himself unstintingly to their cause, guided them as a father, loved them as a mother, held then as a nursemaid, taught them as a teacher, prodded them as a rebbe, rebuked them with finesse and defended them as only the dream team...
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KORACH, Numbers 16:1-18:32, 29:9-15
By:
Rabbi David Gutterman
Social psychologists list several distinctions between a debate and a dialogue. A debate assumes that you have the right answer, while a dialogue assumes that many people can share in crafting an answer. A debate is about winning; a dialogue is about exploring. A debate is more about defending one's view; a dialogue admits that another's thinking can improve on...
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SHELACH, Numbers 13:1-15:41
By:
Rabbi Alan Iser
In this week's Torah portion, when Moses gives instructions to the spies, he asks them to bring back samples of the fruit of the land (Numbers 13:20). The spies return with pomegranates, figs and a huge cluster of grapes. The Texas-sized cluster of grapes is so large that it must be carried by two men. This bountiful sample of the...
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