d'Var Torah
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As a young teen, I remember asking my teachers why the Jewish people needed to be enslaved in Egypt for hundreds of years. Now, as our cycle of Torah readings has us once again focusing on Egypt, the … more
During religious school a few Sundays ago, I challenged my sixth- and seventh-grade students to identify the central idea of Hanukkah in as few words as possible. As you can imagine, some … more
In this week’s Torah portion, Rebecca innovates a familiar mode of communication. Pregnant with twins who will come to personify sibling rivalry, Rebecca moans as they struggle in her … more
The Torah portion Bereshit is jam-packed, to say the least. It includes the creation of the world in six days, the creation of man and woman, the commandment to not eat of the Tree of the Knowledge … more
Many years ago, long before I became a rabbi, I was invited to High Holy Days services at Beth Chayim Chadashim (BCC) in Los Angeles. As I walked into the sanctuary on Erev Rosh Hashanah, I remember … more
Near the beginning of next week’s Torah portion, Shoftim (Hebrew for Judges, Deut. 16:17-21:9), we find a verse that begins: “Justice, justice (Tzedek, tzedek) thou shall pursue” … more
Our Torah portion this week is named after Pinchas, the grandson of Aaron, who is rewarded with the continued priesthood in his family for zealously upholding the high morals of the Torah. Soon … more
If you’ve seen an advertisement for travel to Israel, or if you have checked out the website of Israel’s Ministry of Tourism, you may have seen a curious logo. Here it is: This is the … more
We end the Book of Vayikra with a double reading that is made up of the last three chapters of the Third Book of Torah. What is interesting is how relevant it is today. In a few weeks, we will … more
A home and a garden. Sounds biblical. After all, one of the first chapters in the Torah is the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. But where was their home? Only the garden is … more
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