Tuesday, June 30, 2015 Tammuz 13, 5775

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A somber darkness envelops the sanctuary; prayers are read in muted candlelight, and the Torah scrolls are draped in black. At the 31/2-hour service on erev Tisha B'Av at Congregation Mikveh Israel in Center City, the normal prayer melodies are "replaced by the monotonous and heart-wrenching cadence" that evokes a sense of mourning, explained Rabbi Albert Gabbai. The holiday, a...
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Just a few months ago, InterFaithways seemed like the next big thing. The one outlet in the region devoted exclusively to helping interfaith families feel more welcome in the community had secured prior funding from the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. With the release of the 2009 "Jewish Population Study of Greater Philadelphia" -- and its startling statistics on intermarriage...
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DeVarim, Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22
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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
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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
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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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