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Torah Study

Twins: Parshat Toldot

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 11.20.2014 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

The twins, Jacob and Esav, grow up together then go their separate ways. But could things have been different?

Out of the Ark and Into the Garden: The Story of Noah in the Sabbatical Year

Rabbi David Seidenberg | Posted 12.24.2014 | Religion
Rabbi David Seidenberg

One question for us today, in this year of Shmita, is: how can we get ourselves back to the garden? Back before our fellowship with the animals was lost?

Heavy Lifting: Parshat Ki Tavo

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 11.10.2014 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

Heavy lifting is not just for building muscle. ...

Show Me the Money: Parshat Re'eh

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 10.21.2014 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

Say you have fulfilled your obligation to give charity. But now a friend approaches you for a loan. What is your obligation and why is it so important...

Operation Protective Edge: Parshat Mattot

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 09.15.2014 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

Moses grants permission to the tribes of Reuven and Gad to settle outside Israel, on the East Bank. But he makes them promise to fight alongside the other tribes in the upcoming war. Are we keeping that promise?

Sin City: Parshat Pinchas

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 09.08.2014 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

Pinchas saved the day when he put an end to the forbidden relationship between the Jewish tribal leader, Zimri and the Midianite woman, Cozbi. But who was Cozbi, and what was her mission?

A Taste of His Own Medicine: Parshat Balak

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 09.02.2014 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

Bilam tries to curse the Jews, but G-d has other plans.

#BringBackOurBoys: Parshat Chukat

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 08.25.2014 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

The Jewish people fail to cry when Miriam dies. How do we respond when tragedy strikes?

Sympathy For the Devil: Parshat Korach

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 08.20.2014 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

The earth swallows up Korach and his followers after their rebellion and they descend into "hell." When they arrive, do they meet the devil? And is hell an actual place?

Beyond the Fringe: Parshat Shelach

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 08.11.2014 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

The spies sin at the beginning of the Torah portion, and the Torah uses a linguistic connection to teach us not to stray after our own spies. It's the tzitzit on our garments that help us restrain ourselves.

Camping Out: Parshat Bamidbar

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 07.21.2014 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

The Jewish people are separated into camps, tribes, and families. But G-d makes sure to send the message that each person is important as an individual as well.

Preparing for Sinai: Uniting Earth and Heaven, Words and Wheat

Rabbi Arthur Waskow | Posted 07.16.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Arthur Waskow

From the evening of Tuesday June 3 through the evening of June 5, Jews will be celebrating the festival of Shavuot, which in most of Jewish life today is focused on the revelation and acceptance of Torah at Mount Sinai.

Leading Off: Parshat Emor

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 06.30.2014 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

What does the word antelapsarian mean? And what does it have to do with Kohanim (priests)?

Tomorrowland: Passover

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 06.09.2014 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

Moses asks Pharoah a question that sounds bizarre and Pharoah replies in even more perplexing fashion. G-d then ups the ante by giving Pharoah a taste...

Love Taps: Parshat Metzora

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 06.01.2014 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

It's bad news for any homeowner whose house is declared condemned due to a tzaraas affliction. But as the walls come tumbling down, there is a surpris...

Pass the Salt: Parshat VaYikra

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 05.06.2014 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

G-d issues a command that salt must be added to the offerings brought on the altar, and links salt to His covenant with us. Why is salt so important?

Rocky: Parshat Pekudei

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 04.29.2014 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

Why does G-d repeat all of the details of the Tabernacle as the Jews build it? And what would Rocky Balboa have to say about this topic?

I Forgive: Parshat Vayakhel

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 04.21.2014 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

G-d chooses Betzalel as the master craftsman of the Tabernacle. Why was he picked? And why should that appointment restrain our thoughts of revenge? ...

The Invisible Man: Parshat Tetzaveh

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 04.07.2014 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

Moses' name does not appear in this week's Torah portion. Why not? And how does he gain our admiration by disappearing?

If You Build It, He Will Come: Parshat Terumah

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 03.31.2014 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

In Exodus 25:8, G-d promises the Jewish people that if they build the Tabernacle, He will dwell amongst them. But isn't G-d already everywhere? And now that the Tabernacle and the Temples have been destroyed, where does G-d reside?

You've Been Summoned: Parshat Mishpatim

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 03.24.2014 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

Wouldn't it help us improve our relationship with G-d if we received a summons to appear in court every time we failed to live up to His expectations? Maybe -- but be careful what you wish for...

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.

Reading the Bible As a Human Being

Rabbi Joseph Meszler | Posted 02.10.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Joseph Meszler

More than the commentaries, we learn from listening to each other. It is a fundamental understanding of the group that everyone has something to learn and something to teach. Truth is sought through dialogue.