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Divrei Torah Blogs

Korach 5779 – Change is Hard

July 11, 2019
Korach

Change is hard. Change is necessary.  Change is inevitable. In this week’s Torah portion, a man named Korach wants change. He leads a rebellion against the leadership of Moses and Aaron, saying: רַב־לָכֶם֒ כִּ֤י כָל־הָֽעֵדָה֙ כֻּלָּ֣ם קְדֹשִׁ֔ים וּבְתוֹכָ֖ם יְי וּמַדּ֥וּעַ תִּֽתְנַשְּׂא֖וּ עַל־קְהַ֥ל יְי׃ You have gone too far! For all the community are holy,...
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Korach 5778 – Korach, Governance, and Temple Beth-El

June 19, 2018
Argument

Note: the argument in the photo was at the Western Wall a few years ago, when some ultra-Orthodox men were threatening women trying to peacefully pray with Women of the Wall (including one of my daughters), and I came to their defense. No fisticuffs ensued: they backed off and left the women alone. When...
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Bamidbar 5778 – The Embassy and Gaza

May 22, 2018
Jerusalem Embassy Gaza

This week’s Torah portion has a lesson on the benefits of order. The 12 tribes are organized into four camps. Each camp placed around the Tent of Meeting. Every camp in its position, every tribe in its spot in the camp, all personnel accounted for. Everyone with a role. The Torah tells us “The...
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Emor 5778 – Should Conservative Rabbis Officiate at Intermarriages?

May 19, 2018
Jewish Wedding

They shall not marry a woman defiled by harlotry, nor shall they marry one divorced from her husband. For they are holy to their God …Leviticus 21:7 He may marry only a woman who is a virgin. A widow, or a divorced woman, or one who is degraded by harlotry—such he may not marry....
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Tazria-Metzora 5778: The Power of Words

April 25, 2018
burnt sacrifice

This week’s Torah portion, Tazria-Metzora, opens with a discussion of the ritual impurity connected with child-bearing. After giving birth a woman is in a state of ritual impurity similar to what happens when she has her period. The Torah tells us, On the completion of her period of purification, for either son or daughter,...
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Vaera 5778 – Lessons from a Birmingham Jail

January 16, 2018
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Fifty-five years ago this April, Martin Luther King, Jr., was sitting in a jail cell in Birmingham. King was from Atlanta; some questioned “what’s this outsider doing in Birmingham?” King’s response, in his famous “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” was: I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the...
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