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Maurice A. Salth
Engaging with Israel (Parashat Ki Tisa)

Maurice A. Salth  |  March 9, 2012

This year, Purim fell during a time when we read of disturbing news for the country of Israel: news about the concern of Iran obtaining the capacity to build a nuclear weapon to threaten Israel and others in our world. Those of us that have been following this story are aware of how serious such a threat is. There is much to talk about this issue—too much to address tonight in full—but I’d like to share a few reflections on this important matter.

Michael S. Friedman
Parashat T’tzaveh

Michael S. Friedman  |  March 2, 2012

?In Parashat T’tzaveh, which we’re about to read, we learn all about the garments of the high priest. And we’re told all about the tunic and the pants and the headdress and the breastplate, even the shoes, that the high priest was to wear back in the ancient days as he officiated the service at the Temple.

Michael S. Friedman
Parashat T’rumah

Michael S. Friedman  |  February 24, 2012

?Parashat T’rumah, which we read this week, asks us what makes a place holy. In the opening lines of the parashah, we read about the building of the Mishkan or the Tabernacle or the tent that we, the Jewish people, carried through the desert for forty years and that’s where we worshipped God and it says in the eighth verse of the Torah portion, “Ve’asu li mikdash veshachanti betocham.” “Make me literally a makom kadosh, a holy place, and that’s where I,” God says, “will dwell among you.” But it doesn’t say exactly what qualifies as a holy place.

Angela W. Buchdahl
Parashat Mishpatim

Angela W. Buchdahl  |  February 17, 2012

?The last two weeks we have had some of the most wonderfully memorable, fantastic Torah portions in our tradition. In fact, the Song of the Sea, which we had two weeks ago, and the Ten Commandments, which we read last week, are so important that we are instructed to stand up when we hear them read. But this week, you can sit down. Because in this week’s Torah portion, it’s time to read the fine print.

Peter J. Rubinstein
Parashat Yitro - Jethro Shabbat

Peter J. Rubinstein  |  February 10, 2012

The nature of the Torah is always that its anomalies provide the commentaries with the greatest grist to the mill of their midrashic expedition and with their fierce debate both about textual minutiae about which we probably (those of us who study) may care very little. But certainly we pay attention to the matter of pervading principles, which is very much the meat of what the commentators and responses debate about.

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