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The Challenge of Letting Go of Children

“Lech L’cha: Heartbreak and Hopefulness as Children Go Off and Move On,” is spoken-word poetry to dramatize the wide array of thoughts and feelings that occur to Abram's parents.

D'var Torah By: 
Can You Go Home Again?
Davar Acher By: 
Rabbi Noam Katz

“Toil on, son, and do not lose heart or hope. ..." is a message in Thomas Wolfe's classic novel, You Can’t Go Home AgainThe same themes apply as Abram embarks on his own road to self-actualization in Lech L'cha.

The Most Radical Book of Torah and the Necessity of Interpretation

The Book of Deuteronomy is radical in every way. Initially, it seems that it’s “just” a review of key events, lots of criticism of the Israelites, and repetition of the core values encountered in previous books through the lens of Moses. But in fact it is wildly radical--different from all the other books of the Torah in both form and function.... Much of the book, especially its first Torah portion, D'varim, highlights the major events that have formed the Jewish people, from Moses' view point.

D'var Torah By: 
Determining Who Is Qualified to Interpret the Torah
Davar Acher By: 
Audrey Merwin

It’s no accident that Deuteronomy, meaning “second law” in Greek, is a name given to the Book of D’varim. For centuries, commentators have regarded the Deuteronomy as different from the other books of Torah in that it is Moses’ repetition of the law. No other book of Torah begins by clearly asserting, “These are the words that Moses addressed to all Israel on the other side of the Jordan” (Deuteronomy 1:1). And, as Rabbi Sabath teaches above, Deuteronomy differs from the other books in another significant way: as he retells the story, Moses becomes the first commentator.

The Shaping of a Nation in the Wilderness

Before setting off on a hike in the mountains of Montana, Rabbi Lawrence Kushner was unsettled by all the signs warning about bears. He peppered the National Park Service employee with questions about which trails might be bear-free. The employee pointed out that if it were bear-free, it would not be a wilderness. Over the course of the Book of Numbers, the Israelites encountered many trials in the wilderness. Now, this next generation of Israelites is ready to work together as a people.

D'var Torah By: 
A Lifetime of Connection to Judaism
Davar Acher By: 
Rabbi Michael S. Churgel

The Book of Numbers concludes with a recounting of the journey of B’nai Yisrael since leaving Egypt and instructions for the subsequent occupation of the Promised Land. As Rabbi Grushcow concludes, the central theme of this narrative is relationship. Every journey is enriched through meaningful relationships, with people, with God, and with tradition. 

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