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  1. 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

  2. Dress of the High Priest DT Tetzaveh

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. "Hearing" The "Voice" of God - DT Yitro

    What does it mean to “hear” the commanding “voice” of God? A key word in this week's portion suggests that it is not necessarily all that clear. Moreover, one particularly trenchant verse in the haftarah reinforces the problem with understanding revelation (which I am equating with the notion of hearing the commanding voice of God).

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/hearing-voice-god

    Posted on: 2017/02/10 - 3:29pm

  7. The Well of Tradition and Miriam's Well - DT Hukat

    One of our people's greatest strengths is using our tradition as a wellspring to renew our heritage as we pass it down from generation to generation. As Jews we have a living relationship with our past. Jewish history, Jewish traditions, and Jewish memories are not placed in museums and libraries for scholars to research. They are part of our people's daily lives. When we study our sacred texts, retell our stories, celebrate our successes and mourn our losses, we seek to make deep personal connections to our people's heritage.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/well-tradition-and-miriams-well

    Posted on: 2017/01/31 - 3:50pm

  8. Living the Good Life - DT Ekev

    Ah! Living the good life! The words conjure up villas on the Mediterranean, fancy cars, gourmet meals, fashionable clothes, consorting with the well-to-do.

    On the other hand, living the good life is the fundamental question that religions try to answer. There are myriad answers, and over the millennia Judaism has managed to give many of them.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/living-good-life

    Posted on: 2017/01/31 - 3:27pm

  9. Do You Want To Be A Millionaire DT Terumah

    For most people the answer appears obvious. “Of course,” they would answer, “who wouldn't?” Prosperity is a wonderful blessing. We all want to live well. We pray that our children will never lack the things they need and will be able to enjoy at least some of what they want. At the beginning of each Jewish year, we wish each other health and happiness, blessing and wealth, but we also know that wealth is not enough for a good life. 

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/do-you-want-be-millionaire

    Posted on: 2017/01/31 - 2:46pm

  10. Why Moses Did Not Become A Priest - DT Tetzaveh

    This week's parashah, Tetzaveh, begins with God commanding Moses “And as for you, you shall instruct the Israelites to bring you pure olive oil of beaten olives for lighting, for kindling the Eternal Lamp (Exodus 27:20).” At first glance it does not appear that there is anything unusual or extraordinary about this verse. It is simply God giving Moses another instruction concerning the Mishkan (Tabernacle), just as God instructed him last week on how he was to build it.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/why-moses-did-not-become-priest

    Posted on: 2017/01/31 - 2:37pm

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