TETZAVEH — We all have talents and abilities, as do our siblings and friends. At times we have difficulty recognizing a sister’s talents; at other times we may be jealous of a sibling’s unique capabilities. We must develop the confidence in our own roles to the point that we can let our brothers and sisters shine. This week’s Torah portion teaches us about the appointment of Aaron as High Priest and of his descendants as priests forever. This is a permanent and dramatic role that is being granted to Aaron and his family. Moses, who spent his life fighting...Read More
TERUMAH — The old adage says there’s no place like home. And it’s true, that there’s no place like home to come to at an end of a tiring work day, a business trip, or a vacation. When children have had strange and sometimes frightening experiences or an exhausting day, it’s so comforting to come home to mom and dad and snuggle up in one’s very own bed. This week’s parsha is about building a sanctuary, a home for God. A sanctuary is a holy place where God will meet with human beings. God’s home is a beautiful place, made with precious...Read More
TERUMAH — As we grow, we are trying to develop ourselves. We spend time on how we look, the styles we like, and how we wear our hair. Often we spend more time on what is outside us than what is inside. This week’s Torah portion Trumah deals with building the sanctuary in the desert. Instructions are clear that the outside should be plain, orderly, neat, and clean but not showy. The inside is clearly the more important place where it is permissible to exhibit the most beautiful decorations and objects. Our bodies are our own sanctuary. Clearly, in...Read More
MISHPATIM — Often in life we look for the fireworks, the fun ride, the sparkling party, but it’s the everyday, the prosaic, that really creates the infrastructure for a solid life. Consider what happens in this week’s Torah portion. After the thunder, voices and lightning at Sinai in our last parsha, in this one we find law after law. Such a letdown after the terrifying excitement of Sinai! But what we find here are really the tenets of how to live a life– how to live with one another on a daily basis. For some examples: “You should not carry...Read More
BESHALACH — “This is boring!” “When are we going to get there?” “He has more toys than I do!” Children can get into the habit of complaining and whining again and again. They often seem not to notice their many gifts and blessings and simply complain as if they live a life of hardship and deprivation, despite how much they have. In this week’s Torah portion, the children of Israel do likewise. After passing through the Red Sea and arriving safely in the wilderness, the first thing they do is whine. “We don’t have any food or water!” “We’re...Read More
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