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Succession Planning: An Integral Piece of Your Leadership Portfolio



by Alan Zeichick In this week’s Torah portion, Pinchas, God instructs Moses, “Ascend these heights of Abarim and view the land that I have given to the Israelite people. When you have seen it, you too shall be gathered to your kin, just as your brother Aaron was.” Although Moses had a marvelous opportunity to […]

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Torah in the Cloud



by Pete Bernard Like many other congregations, Temple B’nai Torah in Bellevue, WA, has a diverse group of Torah readers— young and old—who participate regularly in reading the parashah. A strong and varied group of readers is a key part of our community, and we continually strive to introduce this tradition to new members of […]

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The End of Genesis…But Only the Beginning of Our People’s Story



This Shabbat, we conclude the Book of Genesis with Parashat Va-y’chi. Whenever we finish reading a book, even a book of Torah, it is important to reflect on where we have been, what we have covered since the beginning of the book. Over the past twelve weeks, we have made our way through Genesis, beginning […]

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“Is My Father [Really] Alive?”: More than a Rhetorical Question



Are there any more moving words in the entire Torah than the question Joseph asks immediately upon revealing his identity to his brothers: “Is my father [really] alive?” (Genesis 45:3). After many years of denying his identity, hiding his identity, and trying to forget his past, he cannot contain himself any longer. He clears the […]

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Drawing Near to Torah



By Deborah Niederman I did not have a typical Reform Movement upbringing, and would say that the three years I lived on an island in Alaska are probably most emblematic of that. People often ask me, “What did you do in Alaska?” And my answer is, “I went to junior high.” This means that we […]

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Celebrate Torah



By P.J. Schwartz Every year, the season of reflection and renewal is culminated by the celebration of Simchat Torah (literally “the rejoicing of the Torah”). On this day, we read the concluding section of Deuteronomy and immediately thereafter return to Genesis and read the creation narrative. The last verses of the Book of Deuteronomy remind […]

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Chutzpah is the New Charisma



by Rabbi Evan Moffic Charisma  is overrated. Yes, it can inspire devotion and admiration. But it depends on something stronger. It depends on chutzpah. Chutzpah is a Yiddish word best translated as “gall,” or “guts.” It is a willingness to break conventions. To try something different. To trust your instincts and vision.

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