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  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Honest Weights and Measures DT Eron

    Once, during the holy season of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the Hasidic master Rabbi Levi Yitzhak of Berditchev, paused in his devotions and looking at his disciples with sad, tear-laden eyes, remarked, “What a funny world it is that we live in these days. There was a time, you know, when Jews would be scrupulously honest in the market place and be the most outrageous liars in the synagogue. These days, however, everything is reversed. The Jews are surprisingly honest in synagogue, but in the streets and market places, I’m ashamed to tell you.”

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/honest-weights-and-measures

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

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