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  1. Birth of Humility - Tazria DT SCR

    This week is one of the least popular bar or bat mitzvah portions in all the Torah. It is filled with laws for how to recognize and treat leprosy when it is found on one’s body, one’s clothes or in one’s home. Most kids are a bit squeamish about skin diseases, so they search for anything else in the portion that they might talk about. 

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/birth-humility

    Posted on: 2017/04/24 - 4:36pm

  2. Illness and Connection - DT SCR Metzora

    It was one of those difficult weeks where nearly every day I received a phone call about either a sudden death in the community, or someone who had just discovered one form of cancer or another and was struggling with the “Why me?” question and the fear of death staring them in the face. It was also a week where I was reminded nearly every day of why Judaism places so much emphasis on the power of community as the foundation of our religious identity. 

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/illness-and-connection

    Posted on: 2017/04/24 - 4:39pm

  3. Life, Death and Holiness -- DT Acharei Mot / Kedoshim SCR

    This piece was written in 2002, during the second Intifidah. While the circumstances in question have changed, the teaching that emerged from them remains relevant today. 

    Tears and hope, fears and resolve, profound sadness and fierce determination – that is the mood in Israel this week. How ironic that this week’s double Torah portion is called “Akharey Mot/Kedoshim”, which translates as “After death — Holiness.” 

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/life-death-and-holiness

    Posted on: 2002/05/01 - 12:00am

  4. Toddlers Turn On to Torah

    How can you delight two- and three-year-olds with chanting Torah in ancient melodies called trope? How do you pull them into the storyline, and get them to call out questions and jump out of their seats at the end of each section to shout Hazak! Hazak! Venithazek! (Be strong! Be strong! And may we be strengthened), as if it were a chorus from the latest Disney blockbuster? Rabbi Marisa Elana James did just that as a rabbinical student during her year as director of programming at a congregation in New York City.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/news/toddlers-turn-torah

    Posted on: 2000/01/01 - 12:00am

  5. Preparing for a Child

    In the year 741 B.C.E., a prince, Hezekiah, was born to the royal family of Judah. The Prophet Isaiah was excited and inspired. Those were bleak times. King Ahaz, Hezekiah’s father, was paying tribute to the Assyrian emperor in order to avoid invasion and destruction. He was fighting with the northern kingdom of Israel and with Syria. Listen to Isaiah:

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/news/preparing-child

    Posted on: 2014/02/01 - 12:00am

  6. Finding Grace in Parenthood

    Jonah Itai Staub, our grandson, emerged on Friday at 6:45 a.m. At 6:52, we received the text from our son Andrew: “Baby is here! Everyone is healthy.” This coming Friday, little Jonah will be circumcised into the covenant of Abraham.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/news/finding-grace-parenthood

    Posted on: 2014/03/01 - 12:00am

  7. Holding Ourselves Accountable

    Can virtuous behavior be taught?

    I have had my doubts. Of course, parents do their best to instill their values in their children. In retrospect, however, it seems to me as if I learned from the way my parents lived their lives rather than from any values that they tried to teach me. I would say the same thing about how my own children have turned out. If they are honest or kind, it is not because their parents or religious school teachers told them that honesty or kindness are good, but rather because there were people in their lives who have modeled honesty or kindness.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/news/holding-ourselves-accountable

    Posted on: 2014/03/15 - 12:00am

  8. Recon Today-Jennifer Janes

    Jennifer Janes may live in the same city she had as a teen, but she’s traveled a long road to find her spiritual home in Reconstructionist Judaism and Congregation Beth Am in San Antonio, Texas.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/news/finding-reconstructionist-judaism-lone-star-state

    Posted on: 2017/05/03 - 11:18am

  9. An Eye For An Eye? DT Emor Kligler

    וְאִ֕ישׁ כִּֽי־יִתֵּ֥ן מ֖וּם בַּעֲמִית֑וֹ כַּאֲשֶׁ֣ר עָשָׂ֔ה כֵּ֖ן יֵעָ֥שֶׂה לּֽוֹ׃ שֶׁ֚בֶר תַּ֣חַת שֶׁ֔בֶר עַ֚יִן תַּ֣חַת עַ֔יִן שֵׁ֖ן תַּ֣חַת שֵׁ֑ן כַּאֲשֶׁ֨ר יִתֵּ֥ן מוּם֙ בָּֽאָדָ֔ם כֵּ֖ן יִנָּ֥תֶן בּֽוֹ׃

    V’ish ki yiten mum ba’amito, ka’asher asah ken ya’aseh lo: shever tachat shever, ayin tachat ayin, shen tachat shen. Ka’asher yiten mum ba’adam, ken yinaten bo. 

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/eye-for-an-eye

    Posted on: 2017/05/05 - 11:34am

  10. It's Not Fair DT Emor SCR

    “It’s not fair!” I heard a child yelling at his playmate on the synagogue playground the other day. “It’s not fair!” And it reminded me how fundamental our innate sense of fairness and ethics truly is.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/its-not-fair

    Posted on: 2017/05/05 - 11:40am

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