‘Online Parashah Class’ Category

Online Parashah Class

October 30, 2015
By bethmordecai
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Rabbi Saks’ Weekly Online Parashah Class

RABBI SAKS' WEEKLY ONLINE PARASHAH CLASS -- Watch the Latest Episode Here... Take a "Torah" lunch break and join Rabbi Saks for his weekly Online Parashah class every Friday at 12 pm.  Watch episodes of Rabbi Saks' Online Parashah Class (according to the triennial cycle) by clicking on this link or "Online Parashah Class" in the menu above For a listing of classes according to each portion, click this link Latest class... Parashat Vayera 2015/5776: Where Is Home? Beginning with Abraham, the Israelites are in constant search for home. Their existence is predicated upon the constant search for home and the reality of living in the diaspora or exile. Is it possible for the Israelites to truly ever reach home? Is it possible for us[...]

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Online Parashah Class


By bethmordecai
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Parashat Vayera 2015/5776 (Triennial III) — Where Is Home?

Beginning with Abraham, the Israelites are in constant search for home. Their existence is predicated upon the constant search for home and the reality of living in the diaspora or exile. Is it possible for the Israelites to truly ever reach home? Is it possible for us to ever find our true home? Or is life a constant search for it, with lots of stops along the way. We'll look at this question through Abraham's search for home and in particular his sojourn in the land of the Philistines for "many days" (Genesis 21:34). Join us for this fascinating class on finding home. CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE SOURCE SHEET! Classes from other years: 2012/5773 -- Shirking Responsibility for Hurricane Sandy 2014/5775[...]

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Online Parashah Class


By bethmordecai
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LIVE TODAY! Online Parashah Class

LIVE Today at 12 pm -- This Week's Online Parashah Class! THIS WEEK... Parashat Vayera 2015/5776: Where Is Home? Beginning with Abraham, the Israelites are in constant search for home. Their existence is predicated upon the constant search for home and the reality of living in the diaspora or exile. Is it possible for the Israelites to truly ever reach home? Is it possible for us to ever find our true home? Or is life a constant search for it, with lots of stops along the way. We'll look at this question through Abraham's search for home and in particular his sojourn in the land of the Philistines for "many days" (Genesis 21:34). Join us for this fascinating class on finding home. Classes from other years: 2012/5773[...]

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Online Parashah Class

October 23, 2015
By bethmordecai
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Parashat Lekh Lekha (2015/5776) — Tears as Prayer

Parashat Lekh Lekha 2015/5776: Tears As Prayer Prayer is more than words, it's an emotion. More concretely, it's an emotional response to the realities of our lives. We find ourselves praying in good times and in bad, but when things are tough our prayers seem to get louder. No wonder then that, in the rabbinic imagination, crying that leads to tears is one of the most powerful forms of prayer that we have. In this week's Torah class, we will explore how Tears can be a form of Prayer through the example of Hagar, Abram's maidservant, as she runs away from home. Join us for this powerful and important class on the emotional nature of prayer. CLICK HERE FOR SOURCE[...]

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Online Parashah Class

October 2, 2015
By bethmordecai
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Parashat V’zot Hab’rakhah 2015/5776 — The Power of Blessing: Can Blessings Tell Us the Future?

Parashat V'zot Hab'rakhah 2015/5776: The Power of Blessing -- Can Blessings Tell Us the Future? In the first chapter of the Torah's last portion (Deuteronomy 33), Moses grants blessings to the 12 tribes of Israel much in the same way that Jacob offers his final words to his 12 sons at the end of Genesis (Genesis 49). The parallels are striking including specific phrases and metaphors to describe the sons/tribes. What's also striking is that Moses is said to offer the tribes a "blessing" (Deuteronomy 33:1) whereas Jacob is said to offer his sons insight into what will happen in "the latter days" i.e. the future (Genesis 49:1). Since Moses seems to be doing the same thing as Jacob with using the[...]

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Online Parashah Class

September 25, 2015
By bethmordecai
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Parashat Haazinu (האזינו) — The Enemy of My Friend

Parashat Haazinu 2015/5776: The Enemy of My Friend In Moses' final instruction to Israel, he warns them that if they spurn God, then God will "hide God's countenance from them" (אסתירה פני מהם) (Deuteronomy 32:20). But curiously in addition to this threat of absence, God also warns the Israelites that God's support will be directed in favor of Israel's enemies: "They incensed me with "no-gods" (בלא אל)...I'll incense them with "a no folk" (בלא עם)" (Deuteronomy 32:21). What is the difference between ABSTAINING from helping your friends versus AIDING your friends' enemies to hurt them? Does the identity of your friends' enemy matter? How does this relate to how we help or hurt our friends in our lives?   Photo is taken from[...]

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Online Parashah Class

September 4, 2015
By bethmordecai
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Parashat Ki Tavo 5775/2015 (Triennial II) — The Power of Blessing

Parashat Ki Tavo 5775/2015 (Triennial II) -- The Power of Blessing Blessings are all around us; some are hidden and some are plain to see. It is part of the human condition to search out blessings because we know they have power. But what is that power? What makes us yearn to say "I bless you" and to experience the feeling of being blessed? Join us to discuss the power of blessing through the lens of four discrete blessings in this week's Torah portion (Deuteronomy 28:3-6). Photo taken from -- Photo taken by C. Jill Reed on Flickr -- http://www.flickr.com/photos/mulmatsherm/

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Online Parashah Class

August 14, 2015
By bethmordecai
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Parashat Re’eh (ראה) — Can I Eat Chicken with Milk? The Balance between Personal and Communal Choices

Parashat Re'eh 2015/5775 (Triennial II): Can I Eat Chicken with Milk? The Balance Between Personal and Communal Choices Judaism is unique because of the ubiquity of argumentation. For instance, one opinion says chicken is meat and CANNOT be eaten with milk, and another says chicken is NOT meat and CAN be eaten with milk. Can we choose any opinion we'd like? Or is there a point when the community chooses one opinion and we cannot go against it? In this week's Torah portion we learn of the principle "lo titgodedu" ("do not gash yourselves") (Deuteronomy 14:1). We'll learn how this principle applies in its context and how it is used by the rabbis to understand how to balance making personal Jewish choices[...]

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Online Parashah Class

August 13, 2015
By bethmordecai
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Parashat Vaethanan (2015/5775) Triennial II — All of Us Who Live

Parashat Vaethanan: All of Us Who Live This week's Torah portion is full of goodies -- the 10 Commandments (Deuteronomy 5:6-18) and the Sh'ma (Deuteronomy 6:4-9). By way of introduction, Moses reminds the Israelites that God made a covenant "with us" (עמנו) at Horeb/Sinai (Deuteronomy 5:2). Seems simple enough. But then he follows up by saying that "God did not make a covenant with our fathers" (לא את אבותינו כרת ה' ברית) rather did so "with us" (אתנו) "here today," (פה היום) "all of us who live" (כלנו חיים) (Deuteronomy 5:3). Why the extra language? Don't we know that God made a covenant with the people from verse 2? Isn't verse 3 redundant? Perhaps, but perhaps the extra language gives us[...]

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Online Parashah Class

July 24, 2015
By bethmordecai
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Parashat D’varim (דברים) — Does God Bring Financial Success?

Parashat D'varim 2015/5775 (Triennial II): Does Financial Success Come From God? Most people know the biblical account of manna from heaven: God provides food from heaven for the Israelites in the form of "manna," a bread like substance that according to rabbinic tradition tastes how you want it to taste. Likewise, the Israelites often stop in the desert for God to give them water. But In the triennial section of this week's Torah portion, we read something different: the Israelites had to PAY the tribe of Esau for food and water (Deuteronomy 2:6)! Because the food and water are no longer "free," does it mean that God does not provide it for them? This does not seem to be the[...]

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