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Shabbat Noah (Gen. 6:9 – 11:32)

Courtesy of Julie Seltzer and MyJewishLearning.com The tale of Noah, like all truly great stories, is simple and also deceptively complex. Along with the many layers of the story, there is – I discovered this year – actually TWO versions competing for your attention. In one version, the world had become corrupt, but Noah “seemed good in God’s eyes”. Noah takes seven pairs of... read more

Shabbat Beresheet (Gen. 1:1-6:8)

Courtesy of Julie Seltzer and MyJewishLearning.com   “Turn it, and turn it over again, for everything is in it, and contemplate it, and wax gray and old over it, and stir not from it, for thou canst have no better rule than this.” – Rabbi Ben Bag Bag “You do the hokey pokey and you turn the scroll around…” – Rachel Barenblat It’s one of those few portions... read more

Shabbat Sukkot

This coming Friday we will celebrate Sukkot along with Shabbat. One of the traditions is to welcome a member of the “Ushpizin”, or honored guests, into your sukkah – one for each night of sukkot. The honored guests are traditionally Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; Moses and Aaron; and Joseph and David. More recently noteable Jewish women have been added – women who either compliment... read more

Ha’Azinu (Deuteronomy 32:1 – 32:52)

In the portion this week, Moses teaches the song (or poem, depending on how you interpret it) to the Israelites, the one that describes what is going to happen to them (entering the land, turning away from God, getting clobbered with curses, returning to God generations later). This song is intended to be a lifeline to that future generation, the instruction that will tell them – when they are ready... read more

Vayeilech (Deuteronomy 31:1 – 31:30)

We continue reading about Moses’ last day on earth, a tale that has taken up several parshiot – more (I think) than any other narrative arc in the Torah. At the start of the portion this week, according to the JPS, Moses says: “I am now one hundred and twenty years old, I can no longer be active.” Fox translates this line as: “A hundred and twenty years old am I today; I am... read more

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