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10 Years of Ten Minutes of Torah

Unto Zion We Shall Give Torah



By Rabbi Josh Weinberg “All the people gathered themselves together as one man into the broad place that was before the water gate; and they spoke unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the Law of Moses, which Adonai had commanded to Israel. 2 And Ezra the priest brought the Law before the congregation, both […]

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10 Years of Ten Minutes of Torah

URJ Commemorates Ten Years of Ten Minutes of Torah



The Union of Refom Judaism commemorates 10 years of Ten Minutes of Torah, a daily email that is one of the most successful and innovative distance learning initiatives in the Jewish world.  In 2003, Rabbi Eric Yoffie, then URJ president launched Ten Minutes of Torah at the URJ Biennial convention in Minneapolis: Desperate to keep […]

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Sometimes Inclusion Makes Me Nervous



On Yom Kippur morning, an amazing young woman came to our bimah to chant Torah.  She happens to be blind. And while I eagerly anticipated what I knew would be a stunning aliyah, I found myself really nervous. Why would I be nervous?  This should have been a moment of immense pride that the inclusive […]

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Yom Kippur Torah Readings – A Creative Approach



By Rabbi Edwin Goldberg A couple of years ago, the core editorial team1 of the forthcoming Reform High Holy Day prayer book met with Dr. Marc Brettler, a scholar of Bible at Brandeis University.  We wanted to learn from him about possible alternative readings from the Torah on Yom Kippur day.  The traditional reading for the […]

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Torah and Haftarah Readings for Yom Kippur



By Rabbi Richard Sarason On Yom Kippur, the Torah is read in both the morning and afternoon services.  This emulates the traditional reading practice on Shabbat (indeed, Yom Kippur is called shabbat shabbaton in Lev. 23:32 – literally, “a day of complete rest,” but understood homiletically to mean “the most important of Sabbaths”).1 The Mishnah […]

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Sarah: Names and Responsibilities



by Cynthia Roosth Wolf During 2013, we celebrate the legacy of the first one hundred years of WRJ, and we arrive at another Lech L’cha moment… preparing to go forth into our next one hundred years! We have lived to fulfill five score years of NFTS and now WRJ. And we are filled with excitement […]

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The Temple Beth David Mosaic: A Reminder to Do Mitzvot



by Jason Marshall In February 2012, Temple Beth David in Spring Hill, Florida, embarked on a mission to develop a piece of art. It would not be just a piece of art, however; it also would embody something with much greater meaning. The Torah tells us that we must not only think about mitzvot (ethical […]

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D’var Torah of Awesome: MC New Orleans Engages With Congregation Gates of Prayer



To quote a piece of text from this week’s portion, “These were the marches of the Israelites who started out from the land of Egypt, troop by troop.” Well, these past two weeks have been our march. Starting out from all over the country, step by step, taking part in tikkun olam.

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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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Calling All Yentls



From novels to movies to the stage, it is the male who is traditionally depicted, as learned. The woman cleans the house, raises the children, and even has a proper double-chin. In the short story, Yentl The Yeshiva Boy, by Isaac Beshevis Singer, Yentl, a young woman, is so desperate to study and discuss the […]

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Mishkan HaNefesh, Rosh HaShanah Morning and Torah Reading Options



By Rabbi Edwin Goldberg The most traditional texts for the Torah reading on Rosh HaShanah morning are Genesis 21 and Genesis 22. In many congregations that observe two days of the holiday, it is most customary to read 21 on the first day and 22 on the second day. Genesis 21 begins with the notion […]

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Moral Mitzvot



by Lawrence J. Epstein I believe that the Reform Movement should adopt a binding system of moral mitzvot. Currently, individual members of the Movement decide for themselves which mitzvot to follow. A binding system of moral mitzvot would obligate Reform Jews to follow certain moral commandments independent of their personal views. Such an obligatory system […]

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The Warmth of a Synagogue Home in Israel!



by Rabbi Jonathan Biatch Editor’s Note:  This post is the second of two about Congregation Emet VeShalom.  Read the complementary post. The double air-kiss; you’ve gotta love it!  It is a European custom becoming more widespread in Israel, and it’s quite contagious.  You’ve seen it: once on the right side, then once on the left.  […]

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The Blessing of a Special Guest at Congregation Emet VeShalom



by Sharon Mann Editor’s Note:  This post is the first of two about Congregation Emet VeShalom.  Read the complementary post. Reform Judaism and religious pluralism, which are taken for granted in the United States, are not axiomatic in Israel. As a member of Emet VeShalom—a Reform congregation in Nahariya, a peripheral area of Israel eight […]

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