Wednesday, July 23, 2014 Tammuz 25, 5774
By:
Rabbi Joshua Runyan
Matot-Massei, Numbers 30:2-36:13 Book-ended by a fast commemorating the beginning of the Romans' siege of Jerusalem, and another fast marking the city's destruction and the burning of the Holy Temple, the three weeks between the 17th of Tammuz and Tisha B'Av represent the darkest point in the Jewish people's history: Its banishment from the Land of Israel an the sacking...
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By:
Rabbi Danielle Stillman
Last week's portion ends with Pinchas taking his spear and stabbing a Midianite woman and the Israelite man who brought her into camp. Pinchas follows them into their chamber, perhaps stabbing the couple as they begin their embrace. Their crime of passion is met by Pinchas' equally passionate response. They are not tried in a court or even brought before...
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By:
Rabbi Howard A. Addison
CHUKAT-BALAK, Numbers 19:1-25:9 In her 1998 book, To Begin Again, Rabbi Naomi Levy discusses the final illness and passing of Lloyd, her husband's cousin and best friend. Blessed with charm, good looks and a flair for music and art, Lloyd seemed to have the world on a string. However, a month prior to Rabbi Levy's wedding, Lloyd reported a slight...
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By:
Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell, Jewish Exponent Feature
KORACH, Numbers: 16:1-18:32 Korach is the halfway point on our journey through the challenging terrain of the book of Numbers. Each summer, this troubling portion calls out for interpretation, posing questions we had not previously noticed, hinting at options for alternative routes through the burning sand. This year, Korach's and Dathan and Abiram's intertwined rebellions against established leadership shed an...
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By:
Rabbi Joshua Runyan
SHLACH, Numbers: 13:1-15:41 It's hard not to wonder: If a congressional committee of inquiry investigated the spies discussed in this week's portion -- much as several have done in regards to the CIA and other organs of America's intelligence establishment -- what would it find they did wrong? Commentators through time have grappled with why the spies -- who at...
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