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  1. Wade In The Water - DT Beshalakh

    Vayomer YHVH el Moshe: “Ma titz’ak ei’lai? Da’ber el B’nai Yisrael v’yisa’u!”

    Then YHVH said to Moses: “Why are you crying out to me? Speak to the Children of Israel, and tell them to get moving!” (Exodus 14:15)

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/wade-water

    Posted on: 2017/02/06 - 12:53pm

  2. "Hearing" The "Voice" of God - DT Yitro

    What does it mean to “hear” the commanding “voice” of God? A key word in this week's portion suggests that it is not necessarily all that clear. Moreover, one particularly trenchant verse in the haftarah reinforces the problem with understanding revelation (which I am equating with the notion of hearing the commanding voice of God).

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/hearing-voice-god

    Posted on: 2017/02/10 - 3:29pm

  3. The Akeida: Questions of Sacrifice

    Each year, on the second day of Rosh Hashana we discuss the Akeida - the story for the binding and near sacrifice of Isaac. Each year we, collectively, struggle with the psychological impact and the personal ethics of the story. How could a father do such a thing? What did Isaac feel? What did Abraham feel? What did Sarah feel? What did God feel? What did the ram feel? We discuss these issues as if synagogue were a family therapy workshop. We take up the story as if it were a vignette in a modern novel, and that its point is to give us insight into the human psyche.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/akeida-questions-sacrifice

    Posted on: 2017/02/10 - 3:43pm

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Four Lessons We Learn from Purim DT Purim Tepperman

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

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