Tag Archives: tefillin

Bo (Exodus 10:1 – 13:16)

Locusts. Palpable darkness. The first seder.  The slaying of the firstborn. Exodus. Laws. (That’s this week’s Torah portion. If you want, you can now skip to the jokes.) Of the last three plagues, the plague of locusts, which devour everything … Continue reading

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Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12 – 11:25)

At first blush, Parashat Eikev seems to be just more of the same: obey=reward, disobey=punishment.  There are consequences to actions.  But mechanical obedience isn’t enough, not by a long shot. Moses tells the Israelites they can have a wonderful future, … Continue reading

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Va’etchanan (Deuteronomy 3:23 – 7:11), Shabbat Nachamu

This week: a little holiday about love, the 10 Commandments redux, the Shema (pay attention!), and comfort. Tu B’Av (the 15th of Av, this year August 15-16) is a minor holiday that dates at least from Second Temple period (516 … Continue reading

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Bo (Exodus 10:1 – 13:16)

Locusts, darkness, the slaying of the firstborn, the first Passover, THE Exodus, and then – tefillin? It is difficult for us city dwellers to appreciate the havoc a plague of locusts (yes, “plague” is the term for a group of … Continue reading

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Eikev (Deut. 7:12 – 11:25)

The name of this week’s portion, “Eikev,” means “reward.”  In other words, all the good things that will happen to the Israelites in the Promised Land  – fertility, good health, military victory – are not automatic but are contingent on … Continue reading

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Bo (Exodus 10:1 – 13:16)

Seven plagues down, three to go.  Then it’s time to leave Egypt. For the next three weeks, we’ll be reading heavy-duty, seminal sections of the Torah: The Exodus, the splitting of the sea, and the giving of the Ten Commandments.  … Continue reading

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Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12 – 11:25)

[I will be away next week, so you are getting this a week early.  The comments are from 2014, but the jokes are newly chosen.] In this week’s portion, Eikev, Moses assures the Israelites that they can have a wonderful … Continue reading

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Bo (Exodus 10:1 – 13:16)

This week: A nation continues to be buffeted by a force it cannot understand and experiences a paralyzing darkness of the soul.  I refer to Egypt and the last three plagues. We start with locusts (a kosher food, BTW).  The … Continue reading

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Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12 – 11:25)

Since I will be on vacation when I would ordinarily send this out, I am rerunning the comments from 2007.  Different humor, though. The most familiar section of this week’s portion is Ch. 11:13-21, the second part of the Shema, … Continue reading

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Bo (Exodus 10:1 – 13:16)

I have been spending this week getting ready for AKSE Academy, an annual program sponsored by my synagogue (open to all, $12, don’t have to pre-register).  This year, I am both chairing it and giving a talk on Jewish thought … Continue reading

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