Tuesday, October 21, 2014 Tishri 27, 5775
EKEV, Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25
By:
Rabbi Howard A. Addison
According to Jewish law, which blessing is more important: the Hamotzi, recited over bread before we eat, or the Birkat Hamazon, grace after the meal? Contrary to popular opinion, the winning answer is the Birkat Hamazon. Our talmudic sages instituted a number of short blessings, including Hamotzi, to be uttered before benefiting from specific aspects of creation. Declining to recite...
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VA'ET HANAN, Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11
By:
Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell
Parashat Va'et Hanan opens as Moses shares his plaintive request to the Holy One to be allowed to enter the promised land with the people he has shepherded. "O Lord," he cries, "Let me, I pray, cross over and see the good land on the other side of the Jordan." God's reply is immediate and direct: "But the Holy One...
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DeVarim, Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22
By:
Rabbi Joshua Runyan
Among the books of the Torah, only this one begins by attributing its subject matter to Moses: "These are the words that Moses addressed to all Israel." This week's portion actually begins Moses' final speech, his farewell before handing power over to Joshua, who'll take the Jewish people into the Holy Land. But if the Torah is Divinely authored, doesn't...
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MATTOT-MASE'EI, Numbers 30:2-36:13
By:
Rabbi Danielle Stillman
We live our lives with the best intentions. We do what we believe is right, and when we don't live up to our intentions, we try again. As human beings we strive to make a better world, individually and collectively, but as human beings, we inevitably fall short. How often do we promise ourselves that we will eat better, exercise...
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PINCHAS, Numbers 25:10-30:1
By:
Rabbi Howard A. Addison
Parshah Pinchas provides a rich pastiche of narrative and ritual law. It describes how Aaron's grandson, Pinchas, saved the Israelites from moral degradation by killing a prince from the tribe of Shimon who, together with a Midianite princess, brazenly led the people towards wholesale decadence. We learn of a new census of the Israelites, now standing on the eastern bank...
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