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Parshat Hashavua

Who's Got the Mummy? Parshat Beshalach

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 03.11.2014 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

In this week's Torah portion, Parshat Beshalach, it's time to leave Egypt. But while the Jews are busy collecting reparations for their years of slave labor, their leader, Moses, is out searching for Joseph's bones.

Snakebit: Parshat Va'Eira

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 02.24.2014 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

G-d sends Moses and Aaron to confront Pharoah again. Staffs turn into snakes during the showdown. But there is more going on than meets the eye.

The Man of Steel: Parshat Shemot

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 02.18.2014 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

Superman's origin story makes us think about a scene in this week's Torah portion -- and about our own superpowers.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Coffin: Parshat VaYechi

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 02.10.2014 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

The Book of Genesis ends on a seemingly sad note, recording the death of Joseph in the last passage. But is that a sad scene -- or a message of hope and faith?

Shema Yisrael: Parshat VaYigash

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 02.02.2014 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

During the emotional reunion of Jacob and Joseph, only one of them hugs the other initially. What is the other one doing, and why?

Great Idea, Einstein: Parshat Mikeitz/Thanksgivvukah

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 01.27.2014 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

Joseph interprets Pharoah's dreams, and then offers some unsolicited advice. The advice provokes surprising praise from Pharoah. What's going on?

Fathers and Sons: Parshat VaYeishev

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 01.25.2014 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

Joseph faces extraordinary temptation as his master's wife attempts to seduce him. His father's image saves him, foreshadowing a later heroic attempt by King David to save his son.

It's Mine, All Mine - Parshat VaYishlach

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 01.23.2014 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

Jacob gets attacked by Esau's angel after crossing a river alone. What was so important on the other side of the river to cause Jacob to face danger by himself?

Thanksgiving: Parshat VaYeitzei

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 01.23.2014 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

Leah names her fourth son "Yehuda," drawing the name from a word meaning thankfulness. But why did she wait for her fourth son's birth before thanking G-d?

Shock of a Lifetime - Parshat Chayei Sarah

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 12.23.2013 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

Rebecca's first encounter with her husband Isaac leaves a long-lasting impression.

'I Don't Want to See the Boy Die' - Parshat Vayeira

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 12.15.2013 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

Tune in for a novel explanation of a deeply troubling scene in Genesis chapter 21 involving Abraham's second wife, Hagar and her son, Yishmael.

Starstruck: Parshat Lech Lecha

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 12.08.2013 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

G-d tells Abraham that his descendants will be as numerous as the dust of the earth, the stars in the sky, and the sand on the seashore. What can we learn from the different similes?

Installing Skylights: Parshat Noach

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 12.03.2013 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

There is some debate as to what Noah used to allow light into the ark. But both possibilities are illuminating for us.

A New Beginning: Parshat Bereishit

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 11.23.2013 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

Cain gets a pep talk from G-d but then goes out and kills his brother Abel. What was he thinking? And why do we continue to make the same mistake?

Fresh Fruit: Parshat Ki Tavo

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 10.20.2013 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

The Jews are commanded to take the first fruits from the signature species of the land of Israel and bring them, in a celebratory procession, up to the Temple Mount. What's all the fuss about some fruit?

Bar Mitzvah - The Day After: Parshat Ki Teitzei

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 10.13.2013 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

We spend so much time preparing for bar mitzvahs. But what happens next?

The Holiday Gift Guide: Parshat Shoftim

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 10.07.2013 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

The Hebrew month of Elul is here, so the High Holidays can't be far behind. Obviously, G-d has everything, so what gift can we possibly give Him?

Why Keep Kosher? Parshat Re'eh

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 09.29.2013 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

In this week's Torah portion of Re'eh (Deuteronomy, Chapter 14), Moses recounts the laws of Kashrut (laws of keeping kosher). This begs the question: "Why keep kosher?" To learn the answer -- watch the video!

Don't Be a Heel: Parshat Eikev

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 09.22.2013 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

This week's Torah portion takes its name from the unusual word used to describe our reward for following G-d's commandments. So what's the story behind that word?

Oh Say Can You Hear?: Parshat Va'etchanan

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 09.17.2013 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

The Jewish national anthem -- "Shema Yisrael" -- appears in this week's Torah portion. Why do we cover our eyes, and what should be going through our minds as we say the words?

Swear Words: Parshat Matos-Masei

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 09.01.2013 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

This week's Torah portion discusses the annulment of vows. So when we say "Kol Nidrei" on Yom Kippur, what types of vows can and can't we wipe out?

We Are Family: Parshat Pinchas

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 08.25.2013 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

Pinchas' act of zealotry in Numbers chapter 25 earns him the priesthood. But it also casts new light on a prior scene involving his tribe of Levi and the tribe of Shimon back in Genesis chapter 34.

Avada Kedavra: Parshat Balak

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 08.18.2013 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

Long before Voldemort and Saruman uttered their first fictional curses, the Jewish people faced off against the real-life sorcerer, Bilam. Bilam's plan to curse the Jews failed when G-d turned his curses into blessings. But do coerced blessings ever take effect?

Do They Play Baseball in Heaven?

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 07.28.2013 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

The Jews are told they have to spend an additional 40 years wandering in the desert. But was this really a punishment? The answer may make you think twice about what you wish for.