Ki Teitzei - Weekly Torah Portion

It is not like everything is permitted in life – there are laws, there are rules and there are expectations for a normative behavior. This is not something that was invented in our age. The Torah is full of such examples, the prophets frequently address them, and the entire study of the Jewish law seeks to formulate these boundaries. Some setting strict laws, other as interpretation of laws and texts. The week’s portion of the Torah reminds us that there are limits even when dealing with tough situations. It begins with the words, “When you go out to battle against your enemies” and continues with laws and rules, maybe a level or two above what was customary for those days. The ability to ra

Shoftim - Weekly Torah Portion

It makes sense that particularly in these days we can devoid ourselves from studying the first phrases of this week’s portion of the Torah. “You shall appoint for yourself judges and officers in all your town gates which the Lord your God is giving you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous. Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue, that you may live and possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you.” So simple, so right, and even so some of the most prominent leaders t

Re'eh - Weekly Torah Portion

A remission year, שנת שמיטה, is a year where everyone had less, even those who usually can afford things. This year brings in one way or another shortage in certain goods and the prices rise. Therefore, those of lesser means will find it even more difficult to make ends meet. The reading of this week’s portion of the Torah forewarns us to be aware of this time, ahead of time. Moses states, “Beware that there is no base thought in your heart, saying, ‘The seventh year, the year of remission, is near,’ and your eye is hostile toward your poor brother, and you give him nothing; then he may cry to the Lord against you, and it will be a sin in you. You shall generously give to him, and your hear

Ekev - Weekly Torah Portion

Since my retirement as chair of the Israel Reform Movement I, together with co-chair and partner Joan Garson, lead the International Advisory Council of the Movement. Together we continue our long-term commitment to bond the Reform Movement worldwide and the Israel Reform Movement into a meaningful bidirectional relationship. A relationship that both sides contribute and benefit. We do so because it is crystal clear to us that the growth of the Israel Reform Movement and the acceptance of its core values as meaningful to Israeli Judaism, must become an anchor of strength to Judaism to flourish outside of the country. Most Jews living outside of Israel are not Orthodox or Ultra-orthodox, it i

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