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  1. It Reached No Further DT Va'et'khanan Howard Cohen

    This week, we listen in as Moshe continues his farewell address to the Israelites. His focus shifts to what the people must remember and honor as their foundational principles: namely, the numerous laws, edicts and assorted teachings. In particular, Moshe emphasizes the Aseret HaDibrot, the Ten Commandments, and thus they are repeated here. These can safely be described as the quintessential universal biblical teaching, since they are readily embraced by all religions with their taproot in the Hebrew Bible.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/it-reached-no-further

    Posted on: 2017/07/28 - 10:26am

  2. Our Sustaining Hope - - Eron DT Va'et'khanan Nachamu

    The great miracle of Jewish survival is not that we survived great tragedies. It is that we survived as a community ever faithful to its vision of a better world for us and for all people and not as an angry and embittered tribe. 

    When we look at Jewish responses to the tragedies of our past, what emerges is that despite the great disasters, the unbelievable suffering, the unbearable pain, and the overwhelming sense of loss, we never believed that our God abandoned us. We never gave up hope. 

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/our-sustaining-hope

    Posted on: 2017/07/28 - 10:32am

  3. Shabbat Naḥamu - DT Va'et'khanan Richard Hirsh

    The summer cycle of scriptural readings revolves around two sets of text. The first is the weekly cycle of readings which progresses through the final book of the Torah, Deuteronomy. The second is the ten week cycle of haftarot, or supplementary readings, selected from the writings found in the books of Isaiah and Jeremiah, which orbit around the fast day of Tisha B’Av.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/shabbat-nahamu

    Posted on: 2017/07/28 - 10:41am

  4. By Bread Alone? Ekev DT SCR

    Sometimes all of life seems like a test. Friendships drift away, loved ones die, we find ourselves fighting a serious illness or falling victim to corporate “downsizing” and either having our salaries cut or losing our jobs altogether. It’s remarkable how quickly even the most positive of people can suddenly find themselves haunted by questions of “Why me?” as their lives seem to undergo one blow after another. 

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/bread-alone

    Posted on: 2017/08/03 - 12:07pm

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Welcoming Strangers, Welcoming Angels

    B’shem Hashem elohei yisrael
    Miyimini Michael u’mismoli gavriel
    Umilfanai uriel um’akhorai refael
    V’al roshi, v’al roshi, shekhinat el.

    In the name of God, the God of Israel
    To my right is Michael, to my left is Gavriel
    In front of me Uriel, and behind me Rafael
    And on my mind, and over me, Shekhinat El

    —From traditional bedtime Shema, with my loose translation.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/welcoming-strangers-welcoming-angels

    Posted on: 2017/08/16 - 2:24pm

  8. Turning Memory Into Empathy: The Torah's Ethical Charge

    One of the Torah’s central projects is to turn memory into empathy and moral responsibility. Appealing to our experience of defenselessness in Egypt, the Torah seeks to transform us into people who see those who are vulnerable and exposed rather than looking past them.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/turning-memory-empathy-torahs-ethical-charge

    Posted on: 2017/08/16 - 4:05pm

  9. 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

  10. 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

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