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  1. Life, Death and Holiness -- DT Acharei Mot / Kedoshim SCR

    This piece was written in 2002, during the second Intifidah. While the circumstances in question have changed, the teaching that emerged from them remains relevant today. 

    Tears and hope, fears and resolve, profound sadness and fierce determination – that is the mood in Israel this week. How ironic that this week’s double Torah portion is called “Akharey Mot/Kedoshim”, which translates as “After death — Holiness.” 

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/life-death-and-holiness

    Posted on: 2002/05/01 - 12:00am

  2. Finding Healing in Separation DT Metzora

    This week's parashah is Metzora. In this parashah we continue the laws concerning the person with tzara'at (skin afflictions). We were informed in the last parashah, Tazria, that the person suffering from skin afflictions (commonly but inaccurately translated as leprosy) is to be kept separated from the camp until the priest has determined that s/he is healed. The person is considered ritually impure and in danger of contaminating the camp both physically and spiritually. The Torah does not distinguish physical illness as separate from the religious realm.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/finding-healing-separation

    Posted on: 2017/04/24 - 3:34pm

  3. Illness and Connection - DT SCR Metzora

    It was one of those difficult weeks where nearly every day I received a phone call about either a sudden death in the community, or someone who had just discovered one form of cancer or another and was struggling with the “Why me?” question and the fear of death staring them in the face. It was also a week where I was reminded nearly every day of why Judaism places so much emphasis on the power of community as the foundation of our religious identity. 

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/illness-and-connection

    Posted on: 2017/04/24 - 4:39pm

  4. It's Not Fair DT Emor SCR

    “It’s not fair!” I heard a child yelling at his playmate on the synagogue playground the other day. “It’s not fair!” And it reminded me how fundamental our innate sense of fairness and ethics truly is.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/its-not-fair

    Posted on: 2017/05/05 - 11:40am

  5. An Eye For An Eye? DT Emor Kligler

    וְאִ֕ישׁ כִּֽי־יִתֵּ֥ן מ֖וּם בַּעֲמִית֑וֹ כַּאֲשֶׁ֣ר עָשָׂ֔ה כֵּ֖ן יֵעָ֥שֶׂה לּֽוֹ׃ שֶׁ֚בֶר תַּ֣חַת שֶׁ֔בֶר עַ֚יִן תַּ֣חַת עַ֔יִן שֵׁ֖ן תַּ֣חַת שֵׁ֑ן כַּאֲשֶׁ֨ר יִתֵּ֥ן מוּם֙ בָּֽאָדָ֔ם כֵּ֖ן יִנָּ֥תֶן בּֽוֹ׃

    V’ish ki yiten mum ba’amito, ka’asher asah ken ya’aseh lo: shever tachat shever, ayin tachat ayin, shen tachat shen. Ka’asher yiten mum ba’adam, ken yinaten bo. 

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/eye-for-an-eye

    Posted on: 2017/05/05 - 11:34am

  6. Land DT Behar

    Parashat Behar is primarily concerned with rules and regulations pertaining to the land of Israel. We read the description of the laws governing the sabbatical (“Shmitta”) years in which the land was to lie fallow one out of every seven years. We learn of the idea of the Jubilee year, which occurred every fifty years, when property that had passed out of a family by reason of economic necessity reverted to the original owners.

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

    Posted on: 2016/06/16 - 1:27pm

  7. Blessings and Curses DT Behukotai

    At the end of the traditional Birkat HaMazon, the Grace after the Meal, is a verse from the Book of Psalms that reads, “Once I was young and now I have grown old but I have never seen a righteous person abandoned nor his children begging for food” (Psalm 37:25). It is one of a series of biblical verses acknowledging God as the one who sustains all. There are many ways to sing the verse but I was taught to drop my voice when I came to this passage and recite it in a whisper. Why?

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/blessings-and-curses

    Posted on: 2016/06/16 - 1:12pm

  8. Bamidbar - Everyone Counts - Kligler DT

    Se’u et rosh kol adat B’nei Yisrael… / שְׂא֗וּ אֶת־רֹאשׁ֙ כָּל־עֲדַ֣ת בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל
    Take a head-count of the entire community of the Children of Israel… (B’midbar 1:2)

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/everyone-counts

    Posted on: 2017/05/18 - 11:07am

  9. Shavuot DT SCR

    Revelation is a tricky thing. For Moses it took place at age 80 while standing in front of a burning bush. For Abraham it was in Haran at age 75 when he heard the voice of God telling him to take a different path from his ancestors and become a blessing to all the families of the world. 

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/revelation-gift

    Posted on: 2017/05/26 - 11:56am

  10. Putting Aside Fear for Courage - DT Shelakh SCR

    The signs of a spiritual renaissance are all around us.  Candidates are increasingly running for public office while openly touting their religious pedigrees as “believers” and even “born again” men and women.  The shelves in bookstores throughout the country are filled with the latest books on finding your spiritual path, discovering the meaning of life, embracing the light of spirituality and often understanding the most esoteric ancient mystical teachings in three easy lessons.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/putting-aside-fear-courage

    Posted on: 2017/06/09 - 10:47am

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