Tuesday, September 2, 2014 Elul 7, 5774
Torah Portion
By:
Rabbi David Gutterman
DEVARIM Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22 When he was accused of incessantly harping on the past, Elie Wiesel responded: "Jews don't live in the past, but the past lives in us." The Jewish calendar does not just mark dates and events; it records the demeanor and tone of the Jewish people at any given time. We just entered the month of Av; the...
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Torah Portion
By:
Rabbi David Gutterman
MASEL Numbers 33:1-36:13 Perhaps no other people is as restless as the Jews. No doubt you are familiar with the term "wandering Jew." The expression, popularized by the church theologian Augustine, was not meant as a term of endearment, but one of derision. It was also descriptive - after all, Jews have been expelled and banished from more places on...
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By:
Rabbi Steven C. Wernick, JE Feature
MATOT, Numbers 30:2-32:42 "Rabbi, I'm not religious, but … ." It's a refrain we hear often, usually as part of an explanation of positive Jewish identity or as an apology for a lack of religious observance. But truth be told, there are a host of activities in which we engage religiously: We go to the Jersey shore every weekend -...
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By:
Rabbi Jill L. Maderer
PINCHAS, Numbers 25:10-30:1 "Emotions, in my experience, aren't covered by single words," explains the protagonist, Cal, in Jeffrey Eugenides' novel Middlesex . "I don't believe in 'sadness,' 'joy' or 'regret.' I'd like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions … constructions like, say, … 'the disappointment of sleeping with one's fantasy' … 'the sadness inspired by failing restaurants.' I've...
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By:
Rabbi David Gutterman
BALAK, Numbers 22:2-25:9 The phrase "a chip off the same block" usually refers to a person or thing that is made of the same stuff as somebody or something else. Were I to temper this definition with a Jewish accent, informed by this week's Torah portion, I might suggest a new phrase: "a chip off the same Balak." Though prima...
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