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On the Other Hand: Ten Minutes of Torah - Shof’tim: Demanding Justice
At the core of being Jewish is a fundamental demand for justice. Demanding justice involves asking others to work toward a more just world, but it also involves asking ourselves to do that work.
On the Other Hand: Ten Minutes of Torah - Ki Teitzei: The Morality of War
Ki Teitzei translates to “when you go out,” but it doesn’t mean going out to dinner or the movies.
On the Other Hand: Ten Minutes of Torah - Ki Tavo: Spiritual Centering
Hasket, which translates to silence or stillness, is a word that appears in the Torah only once, during this week's Parasha, Ki Tavo.
On the Other Hand: Ten Minutes of Torah - Nitzavim: Why Organ Donation is Jewish
Parashat Nitzavim features the phrase “choose life,” but what does it mean to choose life? One way of choosing life is by becoming an organ donor. Rabbi Jacobs discusses why this lifesaving choice is part of his Jewish values in this episode of On the Other Hand.
Stories We Tell: The Scholar and the Merchant
When a scholar boards a ship with a group of merchants, the merchants are confused. What does a scholar have to sell that could compete with their radiant perfume and beautiful scarves? When pirates storm the ship, they find out in this story retold by Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism. You can find a written version of this story, titled “The Sefer Torah,” in the book Three Times Chai: 54 Rabbis Tell Their Favorite Stories by Laney Katz Becker.
Stories We Tell: Whatever You Do, Don't Bite Off the Pitom
Every year Moshe begs his father for an etrog, and every year, his father says they can’t afford it, until one special Sukkot when they scrimp and save and finally bring home an etrog. But what happens when Moshe can’t resist the pitom and Boris the Beet Borscht Baron from Belarus with very strong hands comes to bless the etrog? As Rabbi Steven Bob reminds us, “Whatever You Do, Don’t Bite Off the pitom”!
Stories We Tell: Don't Apologize to Me, Apologize to Him
Joseph, on his way to a new town, meets a beggar on the train. His beard is tangled, his clothing is tattered, and he appears to be dirty. When the beggar speaks to Joseph, Joseph responds that they probably shouldn’t speak to each other until they arrive at their destination. What happens next? Listen to this story, retold by Rabbi Marc Katz. For a written version of the story, read “Forgiveness” in Three Times Chai by Laney Katz Becker.