d'Var Torah
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In this week’s Parashat Tetzaveh, we read about the special garments worn by the Kohanim (Priests) when serving in the Tabernacle. It is clear that these vestments were designed to make their wearers feel special, … more
Just a week ago, I heard a TV news commentator discussing one of the presidential contenders’ positions on a particular subject. He described the hardline posture as “Old Testament” strictness, as opposed to “New Testament” forbearance, … more
In the dead of winter, the full moon of Shevat rises and whispers the promise of Spring. It is called “Rosh Hashanah of the Tree,” because it marks the very beginning of the fruit growing process. Beneath rough lifeless bark, there is a hidden … more
There is nothing that the Hebrew Bible seems to despise more than worshipping anything that is not God. Of all the sins proscribed in our most sacred texts, the most obnoxious to God is the sin of idolatry. And there is no idolater who is more … more
One of the oldest mitzvot in Judaism is “bikur cholim,” which literally means to “visit the sick.” It is a mitzvah identified in our daily prayers, and is one of the most important obligations that a Jew is supposed to fulfill as … more
The standard religious school lesson teaches that we celebrate Hanukkah because although there was only enough oil in the Temple for one day, this tiny amount of oil burned for 8 days, and thus we celebrate by lighting candles for eight days. … more
One of the things I love about the Torah is the humanity of the people portrayed in it. We see believable emotions, ones that we recognize in ourselves, despite the age of the narrative.  For these last few parashiyot (Torah portions) … more
Sandwiched between the deaths of our first matriarch and our first patriarch, we witness the choreography of a dramatic, divinely directed love story between Isaac and Rebecca. How does this powerful connection come to be? What internal qualities or … more
One of the central and fundamental Jewish values is known as Hachnasat Orchim, (HO) meaning “Welcoming Guests.” This concept is accepted as one of the most essential mitzvot – commandments. As a matter of fact, our tradition … more
After Simchat Torah, we return to the very beginning of the Torah and once again have the opportunity to study all of our Genesis stories. This week’s Torah portion, Noach, is one of my favorites. I learned some lessons … more
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