Thursday, September 18, 2014 Elul 23, 5774

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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By:
Rabbi Howard A. Addison
EKEV, Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25 Recently I came across a website offering a list of reasons why our prayers go unanswered. Perhaps, claims the author, we've fallen out of fellowship with God, taken God's teachings lightly or have acted in ways that displease God. Our prayers might be prompted by unworthy material motives or we might not have fully confessed our sins...
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By:
Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell
VA'ETCHANAN, Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11 We've begun the book of Deuteronomy, Moses' final attempt to share his message of faith with the people Israel. As he anticipates his death, Moses looks back on the journey that he has shared with his contentious and beloved people. Moses' tutelage under Pharaoh, who was considered an earthbound god, prepared Moses for service to the Holy...
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