Torah Portion

Torah commentary provided weekly by the Board of Rabbis of Greater Philadelphia.

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Rabbinic Genesis

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More than 20 years ago, I wrote my doctoral dissertation on Jewish responses to Darwinism.
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The Sweet Joy of Life

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The holiday of Shemini Atzeres suffers from an identity crisis.
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Confronting Our Worst Fears

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Once a little boy had a part in the school play. He was scripted to come out to center stage and say, “It is I: Be not afraid!”
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Staying Focused on the Destination

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Reb Mendel Futerfas was a famous Chasidic personality who put his life on the line to teach Judaism
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How Do You Stand Before God?

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In both this week’s Torah portion, Nitzavim, and the High Holidays, we stand before God.
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Blessing and Curse: Reward and Punishment

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In a weak voice that touched my soul, the weeping woman asked: “Why am I being punished, rabbi? I have been a good person. Why am I cursed? What did I do?”
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The Power of Tzitzit

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When I was a child, tzitzit (long fringes that are attached to the four corners of an undergarment) were explained to me as a ritual object that only Orthodox men wear daily.
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The Parameters of Justice

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This week’s Torah portion, Shoftim (judges), offers an introduction to Jewish jurisprudence and offers important lessons about how a just society functions.
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Camp Reminder: We Are God’s Imperfect Twin

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I spent the past several weeks teaching young adults at Camp Ramah in the Poconos and was reminded again: Jewish camp is one of Jewish America’s greatest inventions
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‘Open Up Your Hearts …’

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We wake up each morning thanking God for putting the breath of life into us.