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  1. Moses' Double Mission - DT Va'era Eron

    This week’s Torah portion, Va’era, is set in Egypt. Moses has already returned from his exile in Midian. He has had his first and unsuccessful encounter with Pharaoh, who, in response to Moses’ request to allow the Israelites the opportunity to worship God in the wilderness, has placed additional burdens on the already overworked Israelite slaves. In addition to Pharaoh’s scorn, Moses’ own people abuse him for the troubles they believe he has brought upon them. Soon after it has begun, Moses’ mission already seems to have come to an end.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/moses-double-mission

    Posted on: 2018/01/05 - 11:07am

  2. These Are The Names Shemot DT Micah B-K

    The Book of Exodus, Shemot in Hebrew, begins with the listing of names. A recounting of “who is who” as a new era opens. While Genesis/Bereshit begins the Jewish journey following one family, as we begin Exodus, the narrative begins to be about a people emerging into being. This week’s portion continues some 375 years after the end of the Genesis text.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/these-are-names

    Posted on: 2018/01/05 - 1:08pm

  3. Blueprint for a Full Jewish Life - DT Terumah Schein

    Reprinted by permission of the Cleveland Jewish News.

    This d’var Torah is one of a series influenced by the Me’am Loez Sephardic Torah commentary.

    If we review briefly the last several parshiot of Exodus, we see an interesting pattern. We began with mythic moments of redemption from slavery and the revelation of the Torah in Bo, Beshalakh, and Yitro. Human beings cannot live without these moments, but living with them only is also impossible. 

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/blueprint-full-jewish-life

    Posted on: 2018/02/09 - 3:35pm

  4. Blood - Aharei Mot DT Dannin

    References to blood appear at least sixty-five times in the Torah, and more, depending on how you do the counting and excluding references to menses. In this parashah, it appears primarily in connection with sacrifices (Lev.16:14-15, 16:18-19, 16:27, 17:3-6).

    But the more intriguing reference is in Lev. 17:10-14, where we are told:

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/blood

    Posted on: 2018/04/20 - 1:49pm

  5. Love the Stranger As Yourself DT Kligler Kedoshim

  6. Crossing the Sea in Every Generation

    This d’var Torah on parashat Beshalakh was delivered at the January 2019 board meeting of Reconstructing Judaism by by Seth Rosen, board chair.

    On the first night of Convention, Rabbi Sid Schwarz joked about how happy he was to be addressing the largest gathering of Reconstructionists since Mt. Sinai. As I sat down to write about Beshalakh, this week’s parshah, the first thing that struck me was how right he was. Beshalakh doesn’t tell us who was at Sinai – but it sure seems like there were lot of Reconstructionists at the crossing of the sea.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/crossing-sea-every-generation

    Posted on: 2019/01/14 - 2:53pm

  7. How to Remember, How to Forget: Evil Must Not Define Us

    (This teaching on Parashat Ki Teitzei was given by Seth Rosen, chair of our board of governors, at Congregation Dor Hadash, Pittsburgh, Pa., on Sept. 14, 2019 — eleven months after the synagogue attack.)

    Shabbat shalom!

    I want to begin by telling you what a privilege it is to stand in front of this community, and how grateful my wife Joan and I are for your invitation to be a part of this congregation, even if only for one Shabbat weekend.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/amalek-and-memory-pittsburgh-evil-must-not-define-us

    Posted on: 2019/09/14 - 12:00am

  8. Purim D'var Torah Elyse Wechterman Jstreet 2020

    This d’var Torah for Purim was originally posted on the J Street website on March 5, 2020 as The Two-Way Street | Purim: The Danger Of A Single Story. It was based on the text study Purim, Prejudice and the Dangers of a Single Story (PDF) presented by American Jewish World Service.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/purim-danger-single-story

    Posted on: 2020/03/06 - 9:48am

  9. A Plague of Darkness - Passover DT Strassfeld

    There is a plague of darkness that has fallen not only on our land but upon the world. Actually, there are many plagues — just as in Egypt they seem to come in groups even though just one plague would be more than enough — dayyenu. The coronavirus is certainly a plague that has affected every family, passing over some homes but striking too many others.

    There is also a plague of scarcity:
    A shortage of ventilators, protective gear and hospital beds. 

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/plague-darkness

    Posted on: 2020/03/31 - 1:53pm

  10. Parshat Bo 2021: The Rituals of Democracy - Yael Ridberg

    (Written for Shabbat Bo, January 22, 2021, and originally published at The Times of Israel as “The Rituals of American Democracy” Used with kind permission.) 

    Wednesday morning, I settled in to watch the inaugural events unfold. I was filled with anticipation and relief that the last four years were over, and a new era was about to begin. I was transfixed watching the guests arrive at the Capitol only two weeks after the temple of democracy was overrun by a seditious mob.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/rituals-democracy

    Posted on: 2021/01/22 - 9:36am

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