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  1. Drawing Close to Sacrifice - Vayikra DT Dannin

    When Adar comes in, our happiness is increased. But when Vayikra comes in, we feel as if the Promised Land of great stories and heroes is far, far away.

    Torah scholars through the centuries have tried to give us reasons to rejoice in these endless passages on the most minute and bloody details of sacrifices, but it is hard to say they have succeeded. Some point out that we are moving from a physical to a spiritual journey. After all, the book begins with the words “And God called.” Called - not just spoke.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/drawing-close-sacrifice

    Posted on: 2017/03/23 - 9:03pm

  2. Where Does the Spirit of Sacrifice Take Us - DT Vayikra Schein

    As we now begin our study of the book of Vayikra (Leviticus), we start with two observations:

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/where-does-spirit-sacrifice-take-us

    Posted on: 2017/03/23 - 9:10pm

  3. The Ascending Heart - DT Tzav Schein

    A colleague of mine once summarized the inner power of Judaism in the following way: Judaism challenges us “to ethicize ritual, and ritualize ethics.” Last week in this column we had a chance to explore what might be problematic in 20th/21st century Jewish life when ethics were stripped of ritual richness. This week, in parashat Tzav we see the opposite dynamic at work: the ethicizing of ritual.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/ascending-heart

    Posted on: 2017/03/28 - 3:52pm

  4. The Eternal Flame Within Us All - DT Tzav Berger

    A Jew walks into a synagogue and looks around. What can s/he expect to see? An area for prayer that includes an ark that contains at least one Torah; perhaps a table, a bima, in front of the ark as a focus area for the prayer service and the Torah reading; and finally, a light, either attached to the top of the ark in some way or hanging from the ceiling.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/eternal-flame-within-us-all

    Posted on: 2017/03/28 - 4:06pm

  5. Tzav: The Haftarah as Commentary - DT Kligler Tzav

    Va’yedaber YHVH el Moshe leimor: Tzav et Aharon v’et banav leimor: Zot torat ha’olah…

    And YHVH spoke to Moses, saying: Command Aaron and his sons thus: These are the instructions for the burnt offering…

    (Parashat Tzav, Leviticus 6:1-2)

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/tzav-haftarah-commentary

    Posted on: 2017/03/28 - 4:10pm

  6. Jewish Continuity and the origins of "Ben Hur" - DT Beshalakh

    This week's parasha — Beshalakh — is overloaded with material: the pursuit, the crossing of the Sea, the Song of the Sea , the Song of Miriam, the travels in the desert, and the battle with Amelek. It has two sets of bad role models at each end — in the beginning, Pharaoh and his advisors advise who him to pursue.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/jewish-continuity-and-origins-ben-hur

    Posted on: 2017/03/29 - 10:18am

  7. A D'var Torah for Tetzaveh - DT Eric Mendelsohn

    This Torah portion consists of the ordination of Aaron and his descendants as priests, vast descriptions of the vestments that the priest should wear, and the law of the half-shekel temple tax. This segment was probably rewritten in King Josiah's time, and again during the exile, and again upon the return to conform to what the priests were wearing at that time. Nothing in this parasha of direct relevance to Judaism, even to traditional Jewish practice, survived the destruction of the Temple, though Jews have chosen to dress the Torah in a mimicry of the priestly vestments.

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

    Posted on: 2017/03/29 - 12:28pm

  8. Symbolism of Rainbows - DT Noakh

    In this week's parasha our attention is focused on Noah and his family's experience in the ark. The flood has subsided and the doors of the ark have opened. God has commanded Noah to exit the ark and to release the animals back into the world. (Genesis 8:15-19) God next declares that such a wholesale disaster will never be caused by God again. A covenant is established and God seals it by placing a rainbow in the sky: “This is the sign that I set for the covenant between Me and you, and every living creature with you, for all ages to come.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/symbolism-rainbows

    Posted on: 2017/03/29 - 5:48pm

  9. Taking Down the Sukkah

    These days, it doesn't take me very long to put up my sukkah. When it was new, it took me a while to figure out how the parts fit together, but now I have it down to a science. I lay the poles on the ground and connect them one by one to make the frame. Then I hang the tarpaulins that form the walls and place the bamboo mat on the top for the roof. When that's all done, I ask the kids to come in and decorate it.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/taking-down-sukkah

    Posted on: 2017/03/29 - 5:55pm

  10. My Brother's Keeper DT Vayishlakh Eron

    Few conflicts are as significant in our lives as our struggles with those who are most close to us: the members of our family. Who we were, who we are and who we will become is most clearly seen in our relationships with our parents, our siblings, our spouses and our children. Our ability to move beyond our conflicts to an attitude of acceptance and affection is a measure of our growth as human beings. Our deepest felt experiences are those of familial love and loss, and alienation and reconciliation.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/my-brothers-keeper

    Posted on: 2017/03/29 - 7:01pm

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