On the Other Side

In this week's reading, Abraham is called an Ivri, a Hebrew, for the first time. "And it was told to Abraham, the Hebrew... (Genesis 14:13)." What is the meaning of this word Ivri, one of the most common descriptors of the Jews? An Ivri, simply, is "the one on the...
If You Had Everything, Where Would You Put It?

If You Had Everything, Where Would You Put It?

With but one exception, each Jewish holiday has its own specific Mitzvos. Passover has many: eating Matzah, the Seder, and discarding all leavened bread products. Succos has sitting in the Sukkah, Lulav and Esrog. Rosh Hashanah has the blowing of the Shofar, and Yom...

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What Difference Does it Make?

What Difference Does it Make?

Children intuitively feel their parents' love... even when their parents are upset. Children may not like the experience of being reprimanded, losing a privilege or being sent to their rooms, but they still know whether they are loved. This week we read the section of...

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Live a Life of Liberty

Live a Life of Liberty

Inscribed on the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia is a verse from this week’s Torah Portion, Lev. 25:10. "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all inhabitants thereof." This verse is about the Jubilee year, the 50th year on the Jewish calendar when indentured...

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Save the Date!

Save the Date!

Nearly half of this week’s Torah portion is devoted to the annual cycle of Jewish holidays. After beginning with Shabbos, which is also a holiday, the Torah continues with Passover, Shavuos, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkos. In English, the word “holiday” may...

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Be a Kosher Critic

Be a Kosher Critic

Among the numerous Commandments in this week’s Torah portion, 51 in all, is the Mitzvah of Tochacha – to correct others when we see they’ve done something wrong (Lev. 19:17). This is a challenging Mitzvah, because it can only be fulfilled with one who is receptive to...

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Returning Home

Returning Home

With Passover behind us and the summer about to begin, this Shabbos we will find ourselves reading about Yom Kippur. Our reading this week begins with the special services performed by the High Priest in the Tabernacle and the Holy Temple, including that for Yom...

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