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  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Love the Stranger As Yourself DT Kligler Kedoshim

  9. 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

  10. 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

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