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  1. Sinai and Humanity - SCR DT Yitro

    The words we find this week in chapter twenty of the Book of Exodus have undoubtedly influenced more individuals in the Western world than any other words in the entire Torah. They are called in Hebrew, aseret hadibrot, “the ten utterances,” but most people know them simply as, “The Ten Commandments.” 

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/sinai-and-humanity

    Posted on: 2017/02/14 - 11:36am

  2. DT Beshalakh Joel Hecker - Staff and Zohar

    “Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and split it apart, that the Israelites may come into the midst of the sea on dry land” (Exodus 14:16).

    What is the nature of this staff? Is it a walking stick? Sign of God’s power? Or magical device?

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/evil-and-compassion-two-sides-one-staff

    Posted on: 2017/02/14 - 11:55am

  3. Wherever We Let God In - DT Terumah SCR

    In a famous Hasidic saying, the Kotzker Rebbe was once asked: “Where does God dwell?” to which he replied, “Wherever you let Him in.” 

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/wherever-we-let-god-in

    Posted on: 2017/02/22 - 5:56pm

  4. Four Lessons We Learn from Purim DT Purim Tepperman

  5. Torah as Puzzle - DT Ki Tisa

    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. 

    In Jewish tradition, God is not so much in the details as in the relationships that hold the details together. Ki Tisa, this week's Torah portion, offers several outstanding examples of the temporal and spatial location of events described in the Torah portion.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/torah-puzzle-rearranging-parts

    Posted on: 2017/03/08 - 5:06pm

  6. Why Be Good? DT Ki TIsa

    I used to have interesting conversations with a friend who had studied for the Catholic priesthood in his youth. We talked about questions of ethics and morality from the perspectives of our two traditions. In one conversation, I mentioned that Jews don't really concern themselves with an afterlife, that you can attend services year after year and never hear anything about what happens after death. My friend was shocked and asked, “Well, then, why be good?”

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/why-be-good

    Posted on: 2017/03/08 - 5:09pm

  7. Trying to Limit the Divine - DT Ki Tisa

    The overriding concern of the last portion of the Book of Exodus: how can one relate to God without shrinking God to the limitations of human insight and imagination? The bulk of the material, which begins with the Torah portion Terumah, deals with the intricate description of the construction of the Mishkan, the portable, tent-like sanctuary that was to be the spiritual center of Israelite life during the forty years of desert wandering.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/trying-limit-divine

    Posted on: 2017/03/08 - 5:15pm

  8. Pekudei DT Schein

    Traditionally, as we end a book of Torah, we both congratulate ourselves and resolve to study even more diligently in the future. We say hazak, hazak, v'nitkhazek: be strong, be strong, and strengthen one another.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/importance-vision

    Posted on: 2017/03/16 - 1:59pm

  9. Journeying from the Personal to the Communal - Vayakhel DT James Greene

    Up until this week’s portion, the Israelites are generally referred to as “b’nei Yisrael,” the Children of Israel. Only once had we been called, “beit Yisrael,” the House of Israel. It is with the completion of the Mishkan, the traveling sanctuary, that the people are generally called beit Yisrael, the House of Israel. We have been transformed from a people who share a common history, to a group of people who now share a common destiny.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/journeying-personal-communal

    Posted on: 2017/03/16 - 2:19pm

  10. Coming Together - DT SCR Vayak'hel

    Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan once taught that religious identity is based on the “three Bs” of believing, belonging, and behaving. Most religious traditions begin with a foundation of believing. Christianity, for example, is based in large measure on a belief in Jesus as the son of God, and the savior of human souls, on beliefs having to do with the nature of sin and salvation, and heaven and hell. Based on those beliefs, to be a good Christian requires certain behaviors that are the natural expressions of those beliefs.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/coming-together

    Posted on: 2017/03/16 - 2:26pm

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