Parshat Vayakhel-Pekudei: Exodus 35:1 - 40:38

Cantor Leigh Korn

The portion this week is a double portion consolidated as it is not a leap year.  In the first of the two portions, Vayakhel, Moses convenes the entire people.  Just as the laws of the Tabernacle end with the laws of the Sabbath, so, too, the actual building begins with a reiteration of the holiness of the Sabbath, mandating that the people refrain from work and from kindling fire on Shabbat.  Moses then calls for contributions from the… Read More »

Parshat Ki Tisa: Exodus 30:11 - 34:35

Rabbi Judy Shanks

The most dramatic and memorable moment of this week’s portion comes when Moses smashes the stone tablets of the 10 Commandments in his explosive anger at the Israelites’ idolatrous building of the Golden Calf.  But this year I find a hidden gem of relevant wisdom in a much more pedestrian verse from the beginning of the portion.  God instructs Moses:  “When you take a census of the Israelite people…each shall pay the Eternal a… Read More »

Parshat Tetzaveh: Exodus 27:20 - 30:10

Rabbi Alissa Miller

Two weeks ago I had the privilege of traveling to Washington, D.C. with seventeen of our 10th graders and Rabbi LeVine.  On the first day of our trip we visited the Newseum, a museum that teaches about news, communication and the freedoms of the First Amendment. As we individually made our way through the various exhibits, I met up with a few of the students in the current “REFUGEE” exhibit.  Surrounded by images created by… Read More »

Parshat Terumah: Exodus 25:1 - 27:19

Rabbi Jay LeVine

The Torah portion this week (Terumah) is devoted to things. Many, many things. Some of these are normal, if precious, such as gold and silver. Some of these are a little more exotic, such as dolphin skins. All of these things are listed ad nauseum, comprising the detailed desires God has for constructing the Mishkan, the sanctuary that the Israelites will build to signify God’s presence in their midst. Centuries later, the plans for the… Read More »

Parshat Mishpatim Exodus 21:1-24:18; 30:11-16

Cantor Leigh Korn

In this week’s portion, Mishpatim, we encounter the first body of Torah legislation which is sometimes referred to as Sefer HaBrit or The Book of the Covenant.  This name is derived from Exodus 24:4 and 7, where we read that Moses wrote down God’s commandments and then read aloud the record of the covenant to the people.  The Hebrew word mishpatim might be translated as rules, but often refers to judgments or civil laws.  Rashi… Read More »

Parshat Yitro: Exodus 18:1 - 20:23

Rabbi Alissa Miller

Last week in the Torah we witnessed our ancestors escaping Egyptian slavery. We “stood” with them on the shores of the Red Sea as, despite their fears, they stepped in and crossed, and arrived safely at the other side. We sang and celebrated with them as they made this important step towards freedom.  It was momentous and rewarding for all who were there, and yet it was only the first steps towards freedom. The journey had just began.… Read More »

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