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  1. Filling in the Missing Pieces of Sarah's Life

    Should we be surprised that a parasha entitled Hayey Sarah, “the life of Sarah”, in fact opens with the death of Sarah, and encompasses nothing of her life story?

    Torah is full of round-about tales and messages. Here is one that is perhaps more significant for being less straightforward. It is about Sarah, and yet not about one person, for it clearly connects to the origins of a people.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/filling-missing-pieces-sarahs-life

    Posted on: 2017/11/03 - 12:33pm

  2. Abraham's Second Life DT Hayey Sarah

    In the Stone Edition Chumash, the brief note on Genesis 25:1-11, which summarizes Abraham’s life after the death of his wife, Sarah, and the marriage of their son, Isaac, to Rebecca, reveals more about human life

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/abrahams-second-life

    Posted on: 2017/11/03 - 12:41pm

  3. Quality or Quantity? DT Hayey Sarah

    “And the life of Sarah was a hundred and seven and twenty years; these were the years of the life of Sarah…” begins our Torah portion this week. Interestingly, Sarah’s age is not revealed with any sense of awe for the number of years she lived. Was there something different about the way our ancestors aged or counted? Or is there something we are missing in our reading of the story?

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/quality-or-quantity

    Posted on: 2017/11/07 - 5:02pm

  4. Questioning Jacob's and Rebecca's Behavior DT Toldot Gluskin

    In the Torah, Rebecca and Jacob use deception to get Jacob the birthright due to his brother Esau. It is natural and healthy to question the behavior of Jacob and Rebecca. Our ancestors don’t have to be perfect to gain our interest. In fact, they may be more interesting because they are flawed. By studying these characters and trying to figure them out, we learn more about ourselves.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/questioning-jacobs-and-rebeccas-behavior

    Posted on: 2017/11/09 - 12:21pm

  5. Isaac, Digger of Wells DT Dannin Toldot

    In Toldot, we come at last to Isaac’s story. And this year, as most years, we read it as we enter late autumn: a transitional time, the secular — or at least non-Jewish — equivalent to the transitional period that begins with Rosh HaShanah — New Year’s Day — and continues on through late summer/early autumn to Simchat Torah. The Jewish New Year observances begin as summer, warmth, and growth give way to decline. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, this secular period begins as autumn is about to give way to winter.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/isaac-digger-wells

    Posted on: 2017/11/09 - 12:40pm

  6. Meeting Angels DT Vayetzey

    And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. And Jacob said when he saw them: “This is God’s camp.” And he called the place, “Makhanaim.” Genesis 32:2-3 

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/meeting-angels

    Posted on: 2017/11/15 - 8:10pm

  7. Connecting the Dots DT Vayishlakh Dannin

    Flowing through Bereyshit/Genesis are the themes of blindness, deception, and identity. Last week, in Parashat Vayetzey, Jacob’s very identity was shaken and remade at Bet El. Before he fell asleep he was a thief fleeing from the wholly justified wrath of his brother Esau. When Jacob awoke from his dream at Bet El, it was to realize that he had met the divine. Through the rest of Vayetzey, Jacob moved through a series of new identities: lover, husband, father, shepherd, and fugitive from his father-in-law Laban.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/connecting-dots

    Posted on: 2017/11/20 - 2:42pm

  8. Wrestling With... DT Vayishlakh SPN

    (This week’s parashah, Vayishlah, tells the story of the reuniting of Yaakov and Esau, which is preceded by Yaakov’s night-long wrestling encounter on the banks of the Jabbok with a mysterious man/angel. This is my interpretation of this parashah and the “sequel” to an earlier commentary I wrote on an imagined Esau-Cain encounter from parashat Vayetzey.)

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

    Posted on: 2017/11/20 - 2:53pm

  9. Tamar the Hidden DT Vayeshev

    Maybe the Torah is really Tamar’s story. Seen from that perspective, Judah’s interlude with Tamar is not an annoying interruption placed between Joseph’s sale into slavery and Joseph’s encounter with Potiphar’s wife. Maybe we need to know Tamar better. After all Psalm 92 tells us, tzaddik k’tamar - the wise/just are like Tamar. They are planted in the house of God, where they fruit and send out seed in order to tell of God’s uprightness.

    So what does it mean to be like Tamar?

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/tamar-hidden

    Posted on: 2017/12/03 - 7:44pm

  10. 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

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