Posts Tagged: d’var Torah

And Yet, He Lived: A D’var Torah on Parashat Va-y’chi from URJ Biennial 2013



[Editor’s note: This d’var was given by Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Senior Vice President of the URJ, on Friday night at the URJ Biennial.] Shabbat shalom! This week we read parashat va-y’chi, taken from the opening verse: “And Jacob lived in Egypt for seventeen years.  Va-y’chi, meaning “and he lived” is an ironic name, since the […]

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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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Ki Teitzei, Ethics, and Israel



I think that Parashat Ki Teitzei is one of those Torah portions that particularly resonates with Progressive Jews.  It is fittingly placed in Elul, the month before the High Holidays.  The portion is filled with the basic ethics of how we treat our fellow human beings, such as: Do not withhold wages even to those […]

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Contemporary Reflection on Parashat Sh’mini



By Blu Greenberg In every generation, Jews have understood the significance of the Revelation of Torah in their lives. We have studied and written and taught about the meaning of Torah and its relevance to contemporary circumstances. With the publication of The Torah: A Women’s Commentary in 2008, the teachings of women scholars and Jewish professionals […]

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URJ & NFTY Presidents’ Joint D’var



Union for Reform Judaism President Rabbi Rick Jacobs and NFTY President Evan Traylor delivered a joint D’var Torah during Saturday morning T’fillah at last weekend’s NFTY Convention and Youth Engagement Conference, which run concurrently. An abridged text and full video of their address follows; you can also find the full text of Rabbi Jacobs Friday […]

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Remember Who You Stand For



This d’var Torah is the winner of the Wendy Blickstein Memorial D’var Torah Competition, which was established in memory of Wendy Blickstein, a former member of NFTY’s Mid-Atlantic Region whose years were cut far too short because of cancer. The Blickstein family established this competition for aspiring teen writers to share their words of Torah with our NFTY Convention community and beyond.

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The Torah In Haiku Is Moving



Beginning this week Visit URJ’s new site For Torah haiku You might have read about the URJ’s new website, ReformJudaism.org, which includes it’s own blog. As RJ.org transitions to a sort of “insider’s blog” about congregational life and Movement activity, the new website is the right place for material like The Torah In Haiku. So, […]

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The Torah In Haiku: Beshalach



It’s Shabbat Shirah Time to read Shirat HaYam The song of the sea Who is like You G-d? Majestic in holiness Doing miracles    

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The Torah In Haiku: Va-eira



Turn rods into snakes? Pharaoh’s men can do it, too. Plagues will be required   Exodus 7:10-13 Moses and Aaron came to Pharaoh. They did exactly as G-d had said. Aaron threw his staff down before Pharaoh, and it became a viper. Pharaoh summoned his scholars and magicians. The master symbolists were able to do the same […]

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The Torah In Haiku: Sh’mot



Moses finds a wife Jethro’s daughter Tzipporah A Midianite   Image from The Prince of Egypt  

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The Torah In Haiku: Va-y’chi



As Genesis ends We see the last of Joseph And two thousand twelve At new beginnings Or when, for some, it’s the end We need strength – Chazak

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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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Va-y’chi: Thoughts about Our Own Machpelah



We have reached the last Shabbat of the secular year, reading the last parashah of the Book of Genesis. To add to that double harbinger of finality, we also read, first of the death of Jacob, and then of the death of Joseph. Ironic, but not unique in Torah, Va-y’chi, “And he lived,” is mostly […]

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The Torah In Haiku: Vayigash



Slavery begins Not the Jews, but Egyptians Become Pharoah’s serfs Genesis 47:19: Why should we die before your very eyes – us and our land? Buy our bodies and our land in exchange for bread. Let us become Pharaoh’s serfs, and let our land [also be his]. Trouble foreshadowed A new Pharoah will not like […]

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