Parasha / E-Letter

Weekly Torah portion: On comfort and hope

No Comments 28 July 2015

Synagogues echo with the words of Isaiah from the summer until the chaggim (High Holidays). Why? Isaiah, Rabbi Ron Kronosh shows us,  is a prophet not only of peace, but of comfort and hope, and his message carries with it a powerful vision of the “Third Jewish Commonwealth” – a society built on ethics, equality and justice.

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Justice in Israel-Negev Bedouin, Occupied Territories, Parasha / E-Letter

Between destruction and hope: Rabbi Ascherman’s 5775 Tisha b’Av journey

No Comments 27 July 2015

Tisha b’Av is a fast day in Judaism commemorating many tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people – most notably the loss of the First and Second Temples. It is a tragic day and one spent in mourning by Jews throughout the world.

This Tisha b’Av Rabbi Ascherman, president and senior rabbi of RHR, choose to mourn  amidst the threatened demolitions of both Susya and the Israeli-Bedouin village of Umm al Hiran,  the ruins of the village Atir, and the on-going destruction of Al Arakib. Following is a short narrative of his journey followed by photos.  To read about why Rabbi Ascherman choose to commemorate this important Jewish holiday in this way, please read here. 

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General, Parasha / E-Letter

Weekly parasha: Three prophecies on the language of “how”

No Comments 21 July 2015

In her commentary of Parashat Devarim, Rabbi Mira Raz reminds us of how the seemingly small choices we all make have the power to transform not only ourselves, but the whole world.  Continue Reading

General, Parasha / E-Letter

Weekly parasha: Jeremiah’s Anguished Cry, and its Lesson

No Comments 15 July 2015

What happens to a people when they “lose their fear” of the Lord? In his Torah commentary on Parashat Matot-Masei, Rabbi Yehiel Grenimann examines the wretched task of Jeremiah, who begs his people to repent for their sins,  and prays that modern Israel not be forced to repeat history. 

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Parasha / E-Letter

Weekly parasha: Who are we to back away from peace-making?

No Comments 08 July 2015

The truth is, sometimes the Torah, like the world,  is violent; sometimes there are alarming episodes that we most certainly do not condone or wish to emulate. In this week’s reading, we see Phinehas – a zealot whose fanaticism drives him to carry out the extrajudicial  murder of a couple considered sinners. Yet despite the blood on his hands, he is rewarded with an eternal covenant of peace. In his commentary,  Rabbi Jeremy Milgrom teaches us that if Phinehas can be a peace-maker, then surely there must be hope for our often-too-violent world.  Continue Reading

Parasha / E-Letter

Weekly Torah portion: How Fair are your tents, O Jacob!

No Comments 01 July 2015

The non-Israelite prophet Balaam is sent by his king to curse the nation of Israel. Despite his attempts to complete his mission, he finds himself  moved by the vision of the peaceful Israelite camp and his commitment to speak his own truth, and instead gives the people of Israel a blessing.  In this week’s reading of Parashat Balak, Rabbi Miri Gold seeks to reclaim the serenity, brotherhood,  and intimacy which Balaam marvelled at when he observed the Israelite people. Continue Reading

Parasha / E-Letter

Weekly parasha: Seeing beyond ourselves

No Comments 23 June 2015

How does a truly model leader act and think? What concerns them most? In the Haftorah to Parashat Chukkat, Rabbi Gail Diamond examines the biblical leader Yiftach – though well-regarded as a leader, he is unable to see beyond himself and his own concerns. Is this truly someone to aspire to? Continue Reading

Parasha / E-Letter

Weekly Torah portion: The merits of a matter, or the merits of a man?

No Comments 18 June 2015

Real values, like human rights, are never a “position” in a debate. These values are timeless, and are required long after the end of any argument or confrontation. Read on for Parashat Korach, by Rabbi Kobi Weiss.
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Parasha / E-Letter

Weekly parasha: The Blind Seeing Person

No Comments 11 June 2015

Parashat Shelach Lecha deals with sight and seeing. A person may be able to physically see, but if they are unable to look inside themselves, and find compassion in order to help them “see” the others around them – than that person truly is blindContinue Reading

General, Parasha / E-Letter

Weekly parasha: Not by might, nor by force, but by my spirit

No Comments 03 June 2015

We often talk about the Jewish people as a “light unto nations.” But what does this really mean, and how does a society who is truly a light unto the nations act? Continue Reading

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