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  1. Why Be Good? DT Ki TIsa

    I used to have interesting conversations with a friend who had studied for the Catholic priesthood in his youth. We talked about questions of ethics and morality from the perspectives of our two traditions. In one conversation, I mentioned that Jews don't really concern themselves with an afterlife, that you can attend services year after year and never hear anything about what happens after death. My friend was shocked and asked, “Well, then, why be good?”

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/why-be-good

    Posted on: 2017/03/08 - 5:09pm

  2. Trying to Limit the Divine - DT Ki Tisa

    The overriding concern of the last portion of the Book of Exodus: how can one relate to God without shrinking God to the limitations of human insight and imagination? The bulk of the material, which begins with the Torah portion Terumah, deals with the intricate description of the construction of the Mishkan, the portable, tent-like sanctuary that was to be the spiritual center of Israelite life during the forty years of desert wandering.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/trying-limit-divine

    Posted on: 2017/03/08 - 5:15pm

  3. Wherever We Let God In - DT Terumah SCR

    In a famous Hasidic saying, the Kotzker Rebbe was once asked: “Where does God dwell?” to which he replied, “Wherever you let Him in.” 

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/wherever-we-let-god-in

    Posted on: 2017/02/22 - 5:56pm

  4. Sinai and Humanity - SCR DT Yitro

    The words we find this week in chapter twenty of the Book of Exodus have undoubtedly influenced more individuals in the Western world than any other words in the entire Torah. They are called in Hebrew, aseret hadibrot, “the ten utterances,” but most people know them simply as, “The Ten Commandments.” 

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/sinai-and-humanity

    Posted on: 2017/02/14 - 11:36am

  5. Wade In The Water - DT Beshalakh

    Vayomer YHVH el Moshe: “Ma titz’ak ei’lai? Da’ber el B’nai Yisrael v’yisa’u!”

    Then YHVH said to Moses: “Why are you crying out to me? Speak to the Children of Israel, and tell them to get moving!” (Exodus 14:15)

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/wade-water

    Posted on: 2017/02/06 - 12:53pm

  6. Singing of the Oppressed - DT Beshallakh

    This week's parashah includes one of the most familiar images in the Torah, that of the crossing of the Sea of Reeds (or Red Sea, depending on one's translation). Most years, this story falls on or near the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. For the exodus from Egypt and the crossing of the sea are two of the central images to African-Americans as a representation of their quest for freedom from the days of slavery through the civil rights movement.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/singing-oppressed

    Posted on: 2017/02/03 - 1:20pm

  7. Dress of the High Priest DT Tetzaveh

  8. The Ten Commentments DT Va'et'khanan

    The Torah reading of Va'et'khanan continues the retrospective view of the 40 years in the desert, given by Moses and ending in a list of “commandments, statutes and ordinances.” This is rich material—not only the ten commandments, but also the Shema, the credo statement of Judaism; we even find the passage for “the wise son” in the Haggadah.

    Let us focus on the ten commandments, quite enough to fill today's ticket.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/ten-commandments

    Posted on: 2017/01/31 - 3:56pm

  9. Miketz - Dreams

    “All dreams follow the interpreter.” Talmud, Berakhot 55b 

    Everyone has dreams. Some of us dream of heights we intend to scale, battles we intend to win, glories we intend to capture. Some of us dream of love, or riches, or fame, or the quenching of our deepest desires. Some dreams are vast, and deep, and dramatic, and others are simple, and quiet, and modest. But regardless of their size or nature, we all have had dreams that inspired our actions and gave a sense of urgency to our lives. 

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/stuff-dreams-are-made

    Posted on: 2016/12/22 - 11:55am

  10. The Akeida: Questions of Sacrifice

    Each year, on the second day of Rosh Hashana we discuss the Akeida - the story for the binding and near sacrifice of Isaac. Each year we, collectively, struggle with the psychological impact and the personal ethics of the story. How could a father do such a thing? What did Isaac feel? What did Abraham feel? What did Sarah feel? What did God feel? What did the ram feel? We discuss these issues as if synagogue were a family therapy workshop. We take up the story as if it were a vignette in a modern novel, and that its point is to give us insight into the human psyche.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/akeida-questions-sacrifice

    Posted on: 2017/02/10 - 3:43pm

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