Saturday, April 19, 2014 Nisan 19, 5774
By:
Rabbi Joshua Runyan
DEVARIM, Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22 More than 3,000 years ago, Jewish youth stood on the precipice. Triumphant in battle, they were about to enter the long-promised Land of Israel, but their leader, the man handpicked by the Almighty to transmit the Torah, had ascended the mountain to bid them farewell. Before them, across the Jordan River, lay fertile fields, towering peaks and...
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By:
Rabbi Danielle Stillman
MASEI, Numbers 33:1-36:13 Masei, the final portion in the book of Numbers, opens by recounting the itinerary of the Israelites in an increasingly repetitive rhythm: "They set out from Elim and encamped by the Sea of Reeds. They set out from the Sea of Reeds and encamped in the wilderness of Sin. They set out from the wilderness of Sin...
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MATOT, Numbers 30:2-34:42
By:
Rabbi Howard A. Addison
"The imperative to win runs strongly through our collective American psyche." Football coach Al Davis' sentiment rings loud and clear: "Just win, baby." In many pursuits in the modern world, we find those willing to hurt others and compromise their integrity just to gain on the competition. To quote baseball manager Leo Durocher, "Nice guys finish last." Since nobody wants...
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PINCHAS, Numbers 25:10-30:1
By:
Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell
Summer is a time for renewal of body and spirit. Many of us gather in places of family history and memory. As we sit together, we share stories, recounting the past and reflecting on the present. We may discover how choices and circumstances, along with physical and spiritual legacies, shape our lives. An essential step in our healthy development is...
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BALAK, Numbers 22:2-25:9
By:
Rabbi Joshua Runyan
This week's portion contains one of the Torah's more humorous episodes, describing the headstrong actions of a pagan prophet and his talking donkey. Alarmed at the Israelites' victories against the Amorites, King Balak of Moab sends for the prophet Balaam to curse the intruders. But the Almighty instructs Balaam that cursing Israel would be impossible. Only when Balak ups the...
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