‘Torah Teachings’ Category

Torah Teachings

January 11, 2019
By Beth Mordecai
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Torah Portion – Recall the past; Look to the Future

This week read the final three plagues, locusts, darkness and the slaying of the firstborn inner Torah portion this week. God describes the final plague to Moses and Aaron. Yet before that final plague is enacted, the Torah breaks from the description of the final plague to give directions of how the Israelites are to celebrate Passover in the coming years. Through this, God is saying, “You are about to experience something great and awful and you will make a remembrance to this moment every year.” While the people still remain enslaved in Egypt, God gives directions that will be passed down for the next thousands of years. God is looking at our distant future even when our present is especially difficult.[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Torah Teachings

Torah Teachings

January 4, 2019
By Beth Mordecai
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Shabbat Message: The Ten Plagues

Our parsha, Vaera recounts the first seven of the ten plagues God brings to Egypt. During Shabbat services, on Friday night at 8 PM we will discuss the scientific rationale behind the 10 plagues and if they matter to us. God sends the first plague, turning the water in Egypt to blood. The Tora text states, “The Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron: Take your rod and hold out your arm over the waters of Egypt…that they may turn to blood…” Exodus 7:19 Further, God asks Moses and Aaron participate in the bringing 5 out of the 7 plagues described in our parsha. Surely, God could have turned the water to blood, brought frogs, lice, boils, and fiery hail without asking Moses and[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Shabbat Torah Teachings

Torah Teachings

December 14, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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Shabbat Message from Rabbi Metz

In this week’s parshah, the Prime Minister of Egypt, Pharaoh’s right-hand man, reveals his true identity to the sons of Israel who had come seeking food in this time of famine. He is in fact Joseph, the brother they had betrayed, cast down in a pit and sold into slavery. “Then Joseph said to his brothers,…’I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. But now do not be sad, and let it not trouble you that you sold me here, for it was to preserve life that God sent me before you…and [in] another five years, there will be neither plowing nor harvest. And God sent me before you…’” (Genesis 45:4-6) Essentially, Joseph is saying that all his trials and tribulations, including[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Shabbat Torah Teachings

Torah Teachings

November 8, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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Toldot, This Week’s Torah Portion: Jacob and Esau

This week, we read of the birth of the twins, Jacob and Esau. We learn that from the time they were able, they were opposites. They struggled over who would receive their father, Isaac’s, blessing. This struggle is shown between two people yet it could also be viewed as a struggle between two archetypes or philosophies of life. Esau lives as a violent hunter who is most comfortable and adept in the outdoors. He is cunning and ruled by his impulses. Jacob is described as simple, innocent and gentle. Every day we have a struggle within us between being ruled by our impulses and living a more gentle and patient life. We have the inner tension between Esau, who represents the[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Torah Teachings

Torah Teachings

November 1, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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This Week’s Torah Portion: The Life of Sarah

Our parsha is called, Chaye Sarah, after the first three words that begin this section. The tex, Genesis Chapter 23:1 states:  וַיִּֽהְיוּ֙ חַיֵּ֣י שָׂרָ֔ה מֵאָ֥ה שָׁנָ֛ה וְעֶשְׂרִ֥ים שָׁנָ֖ה וְשֶׁ֣בַע שָׁנִ֑ים שְׁנֵ֖י חַיֵּ֥י שָׂרָֽה And the life of Sarah was one hundred years and twenty years and seven years; (these were) the years of the life of Sarah. Our Torah text speaks of Sarah’s life twice in just this one sentence. Even in the announcement of her death, Sarah’s life is emphasized. Tree of Life Synagogue suffered an unimaginable tragedy this week. 11 souls, lost their lives in shul. They and we are mourning a loss of innocent life. Yet as we mourn, we honor their lives. Let us gather in the memory of Joyce Fienberg, Richard Gottfried, Rose[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Torah Teachings Uncategorized

Torah Teachings

October 18, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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Torah Portion: Improve Yourself

This week we read in the Torah that Avram is commanded by God to “Go forth (לךלך) from your land and from your birthplace and from your father’s house to the land that I will show you.” In a careful reading of the Hebrew, the command God gives Avram, “Go forth,” or “Lech l’cha, לךלך” could be read to say, “Go for yourself.” Rabbi Shalom Noah Berezovsky expands on this idea in his book Netivot Shalom. ''Go for yourself. Everything a person encounters in their spiritual and material life, the bad, the good, is given to them so that they will correct their purpose in life. Therefore the verse says. “Go for yourself,” to your purpose, to correct your soul, and to what[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Torah Teachings

Torah Teachings

October 5, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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Torah Portion: Let God’s Light In

This week we celebrated Simchat Torah together.  We enjoyed dancing and celebrating together. Jeremy Strauss finished our reading of the Torah and the book of Deuteronomy. Marc Fertik began reading from the beginning of Genesis.   Our Torah begins with God creating the world.  What existed before God’s creating was an unformed mass, it wasn’t nothingness, it was everything. Everything in this world was mixed together in a chaotic state.  The Hebrew term for this chaos is תהו ובהו or “tohu v’vohu.”    In our lives we too experience this kind of mixed up chaos, our own “tohu v’vohu.” So often when we find ourselves at the beginning of a big project, it can be difficult to figure out where to start. [...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Simhat Torah Torah Teachings

Torah Teachings

September 27, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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Torah Portion for Sukkot: The End of the book of Exodus

This Shabbat, the Torah portion that is read is from the end of the book of Exodus. We read this portion to correspond with the holiday of Sukkot instead of the next portion chronologically in the Torah, V'Zot Ha'Brachah which is read on Simchat Torah.  I would like to share my thoughts on this final Torah portion.   Deuteronomy 33:4 states:   “תורה צוה לנו משה מורשה קהילת יעקב” Torah tzivah lanu moshe, morashah kehilat yaakov. The Torah was commanded to us by Moses, it is an inheritance of the community of Jacob. This verse can be separated into two parts. First, we have where the Torah came from.  The Torah was commanded to us by Moses, and ultimately by God.  Second, we have the statement[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Shabbat Simhat Torah Sukkot Torah Teachings

Torah Teachings

August 3, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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Torah Teachings

December 15, 2017
By bethmordecai
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Beginners Hebrew Class

Beginners Hebrew Class: Intro to Hebrew and the Prayer Book. This class will meet the first and third Wednesday of each month, 7:00-8:30 p.m, beginning January 17, 2018. The goal is to make synagogue services more meaningful, so in addition to learning Hebrew, we will study individual prayers and practice using the translation and transliteration in the prayer book. (more…)

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