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Torah Portion

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Holding Up a Mirror to Our Own Journeys

This week, we continue making our way through Genesis, reacquainting ourselves with the foundational stories of our ancestors. This time it’s the compelling tale...
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The Secret Life of Letters

  If God wrote you a letter, would you read it? Well, God did, and you have. The letter is the Torah. For centuries, Jews...
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A Great Patriarch, Yes, but as a Parent?

Depending on how you look at it, Isaac, of all the Patriarchs, was the greatest. At age 37, says the Talmud, he allowed himself...
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Rebekah, Like Sarah, Known for Her Warmth

As I have been thinking about this Torah portion, Hurricane Sandy has come through Philadelphia, leaving us safe, but still without power in my...
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First We Do Charity, Then We Turn to Prayer

  He was an old man, frail, tired, and bereaved. News of Hitler's advancing army preoccupied him, and he was overwhelmed, if not broken, by...
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Opening Hearts to God Is a Lifetime Journey

This portion begins with a command: Lech Lecha, go forth. Twenty-seven years ago, a Jew who had been denied the opportunity to celebrate becoming...
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Noah Is No Abraham, but Isn’t He a Hero?

Imagine the late Sen. Lloyd Bentsen facing off against Noah in the 1988 vice presidential debate. Noah might make a remark about the great patriarch Abraham,...
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So Why Is It That Torah Begins with a ‘Bet’?

We have spent the last weeks pursuing new beginnings. We have tried to repair old wrongs and move on from them, we have identified...
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Holiday of Sukkot Has More Than One Meaning

The holiday of Sukkot that we are celebrating this week centers on the Sukkah, the fragile structure with three walls and a roof of...
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Moses’ Choice is Stark One: Blessing or Curse

Although we know that we have five senses with which to apprehend the world, we tend to rely heavily on our sense of sight....