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  1. Open Your Hand DT Re'eh Kligler

    Pato’ach tiftach et yadcha l’achicha, l’aniyecha u’le’evyoncha b’artzecha

    כִּ֛י לֹא־יֶחְדַּ֥ל אֶבְי֖וֹן מִקֶּ֣רֶב הָאָ֑רֶץ עַל־כֵּ֞ן אָנֹכִ֤י מְצַוְּךָ֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר פָּ֠תֹחַ תִּפְתַּ֨ח אֶת־יָדְךָ֜ לְאָחִ֧יךָ לַעֲנִיֶּ֛ךָ וּלְאֶבְיֹנְךָ֖ בְּאַרְצֶֽךָ׃

    You must open, open your hand to the poor and to the needy in your land. (Deuteronomy 15:11)

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/open-your-hand

    Posted on: 2017/08/11 - 2:24pm

  2. Be Happy! DT Re'eh Mendelssohn

    “Remember the month of Aviv and keep the Passover…”. In Parashat Re’eh we are given a description of the three major pilgrim festivals, Pesakh, Shavuot, and Sukkot. These are the Ḥagim. “Ḥag” is a cognate of the Arabic word word “Haj”. Just as Haj to Mecca is a requirement for the Muslem (if one can afford it), so is the Ḥag to Jerusalem if one is a Jew. 

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/be-happy

    Posted on: 2017/08/11 - 2:39pm

  3. Addressing Race as a Jewish Community

    Yom Kippur is a time when we confess our wrongdoings collectively, and is therefore an opportune moment in the Jewish calendar to reflect on how we can do teshuvah for the ways in which we have failed, communally and individually, to address the issue of racism.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/sermon/addressing-race-jewish-community

    Posted on: 2017/08/16 - 3:08pm

  4. Melekh Ha-Olem DT Shoftim Eron

    Each time we pronounce a blessing, we are making a political statement. Within the introduction to every blessing are the words which declare that our Eternal God is melekh ha-olam, Sovereign of the Universe. Every time we express our gratitude for the opportunities and experiences life offers us, we also affirm our loyalty to God as our sovereign and acknowledge our citizenship in the Divine One’s dominion. In Hebrew this is called kabbalat ol malchut shamayim, accepting the yoke of the kingdom of heaven. 

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/melekh-ha-olam-sovereign-all

    Posted on: 2017/08/17 - 11:44am

  5. It Just Isn't So! DT Eron Ki Tetzey

    There comes a point in the life of all faithful Jews when we face the fact that what the Torah says, just isn’t so. This does not occur when we see the differences between the ancient understanding of the origins and structures of the physical world and contemporary scientific knowledge. The Torah is not a science text book, but uses the knowledge of its time to illustrate the various ways in which God, the Creator, interacts with creation.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/it-just-isnt-so

    Posted on: 2017/08/17 - 1:15pm

  6. Justice, Justice - DT Shoftim Kligler

    This week’s Parsha, Shoftim, begins with this famous declaration:

    Tzedek, tzedek tirdof / צֶ֥דֶק צֶ֖דֶק תִּרְדֹּ֑ף 

    Justice, justice thou shalt pursue.

    Deuteronomy 16:20

    This is one of the central declarations of the Torah, echoed in many other instructions. For example:

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/justice-justice

    Posted on: 2017/08/17 - 11:59am

  7. Returning Lost Objects - DT Ki Tetzey SCR

    When we are lucky, there are unexpected moments in life that suddenly present us with the opportunity to find out who we really are. I recall one such moment during my time as a rabbi in the Los Angeles area. It involved then-22-year-old Ascension Franco Gonzales, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who came to this country from Hidalgo with one goal in mind: to send back enough money to build a two-story cinder-block house for his parents.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/out-sight-not-out-mind

    Posted on: 2017/08/17 - 1:12pm

  8. Ownership and Return DT Ki Tetzey Pik-Nathan

    This week’s parashah, Ki Tetzey, contains the greatest number of mitzvot/commandments of any Torah portion. The 72 mitzvot found in the parashah focus on everything from the treatment of captives, defiant children, lost animals and the poor through laws of inheritance, weights and fair weights and measures. This amalgam of mitzvot may seem random at times, yet there is a guiding principle that reminds us not to be indifferent to other people and the world around us.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/ownership-and-return

    Posted on: 2017/08/17 - 1:23pm

  9. Hagar the Stranger

    Turn it and turn it, for everything is in it, Ben Bag Bag taught about studying the Torah. Reflect on it, pore over it, grow old and gray with it, for there is no better reward than this. Well, I’m not gray yet, but I sure am getting older, and bald already happened. And with age maybe I’m starting to repeat myself more, but I’ll tell you again: Ben Bag Bag, the ancient sage with the best alliterative name, was a wise man. The Torah continues to reveal its deep wisdom to me, and ever-greater connecting patterns of meaning unfold before me.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/sermon/hagar-stranger

    Posted on: 2017/08/17 - 3:38pm

  10. Consequences - DT Ki Tavo

    When it comes to parenting, I confess to being a slow learner. I should know by know that my almost-seven year old does not respond well, in general, to declarations of causality. Despite this general self-awareness, whether due to stubbornness on my part or just plain fatigue, I still find them tumbling out of my mouth.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/consequences

    Posted on: 2012/06/11 - 12:00am

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