Thursday, April 17, 2014 Nisan 17, 5774

By:
Rachel Surden
REFLECTIONS "So, you're learning another dead language?" This was the ongoing joke in my house when I transitioned from my five years of Latin to my first summer of Yiddish. Yiddish -- a dead language? How could that be? I grew up surrounded by Yinglish and fondly recall the day I came home from school in 8th grade asking my...
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By:
Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell
KI TETZE, Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19 A week ago, we marked the beginning of the month of Elul. Each day during this month of preparation for the Days of Awe is marked by the sounding of the shofar. Every year, these days challenge to rouse ourselves from the pleasures of summer, to return to the questions and reflection that will prepare us...
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By:
Rabbi Joshua Runyan
SHOFTIM, Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9 Not imitating the other nations of the world is a fundamental Judaic concept. The Torah forbids bodily mutilation as a foreign practice, as it does several specific hair styles and idolatrous rites. The Jewish people, instead, should remain unique, pious in thought as well as action. So it comes as a surprise when in this week's portion,...
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With his laptop resting on a table in the library of the Torah Academy of Greater Philadelphia, Rabbi Meir Fachler patiently answered questions from an eighth-grade Talmud teacher. The discussion didn't pertain to disputations on halachah. Rather, they focused on just how to make the best classroom use of a computer program designed in Israel that's called "Gemara Berura." The...
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By:
Rabbi Danielle Stillman
RE'EH, Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17 Barry Schwartz argues in his book The Paradox of Choice that the key to happiness is having less choice. Americans are discontented exactly because they have too many choices! Just this afternoon, I stood in my local grocery store with my 4-year-old, watching as her mind and body attempted to chase after every desirable food in the...
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