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Torah Portion

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When Encountering the Other, Try Respect

Each week in synagogue, we read a portion from the Torah and, alongside it, a portion from the Prophets, the Haftorah, which picks up...
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There Is Great Meaning in the Flame

This week's Torah reading discusses details of the sacrificial service, the ancient Israelites' way of connecting with God. Although these passages may be of...
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Seeking Worthy Guides on Life’s Long Journey

This is the season of pageant and protocol, as we celebrate graduations and weddings. As we participate in such celebrations during this season, perhaps...
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What Division Between Holy and Human Means

Much of the Book of Leviticus seems preoccupied with holiness. After listing all of the laws of kosher and non-kosher animals, the Almighty --...

Seeking Sanctuary From World’s Cacophony

Five years ago, my brother requested an unusual 50th birthday gift. He asked if we would join him to work for a couple of...
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Speaking to the Ill Use of Blasphemy

The portion we read this week is named after the fourth word in the opening sentence: emor, speak. "God, said to Moses, speak to...
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Even Everyday Moments Have Special Meaning

VAYEHI, Genesis 47:28-50:26 In this week's Torah reading, we reach the end of the book of Genesis, the book of the Bible that more...
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The Hierarchy of Needs and Priestly Benedictions

"May God bless you and protect you. May the light of God's face shine toward you and show you favor. May God look upon...
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Counting the Omer: Spiritual Prep for Torah

Shabbat morning we begin reading from Bemidbar, the book of Numbers. This year, on Saturday night, we celebrate the giving of the Torah on...
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Torah a Bellwether for Economic Equality

This week's Torah reading has a special Philadelphia connection. It contains the words inscribed on the Liberty Bell: "Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land...