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Dvar Torah

When Did the Rabbis Create Ner Chanukah?

When Did the Rabbis Create Ner Chanukah?

When was the rabbinic mitzvah of lighting oil or candles for Chanukah established and what is accomplished by lighting candles each night? This may sound like simple and obvious questions but the answers may surprise you. Let’s investigate.

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Climbing the Ladder

Climbing the Ladder

This week’s Torah reading contains Yaakov’s famous dream of a ladder resting on the earth and extending into the heavens. Angels are seen ascending and descending on it. What can we learn from this?

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A Tribute to Our Matriarch Rivka

A Tribute to Our Matriarch Rivka

If any of us were to write about our family, especially with the intention that future generations think positively and venerate our ancestors, we would probably leave out problematic accounts or events. But our Torah does not shy away from these episodes in our family history. The Torah speaks the truth.

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In Memory of the Precious Lives lost in Squirrel Hill

In Memory of the Precious Lives lost in Squirrel Hill

Last מוצאי שבת, Saturday night, we all learned of the horrific tragedy that befell our fellow Jews in Squirrel Hill, a suburb of Pittsburgh. We cannot undo this horrific event but we can all resolve and commit to embracing one fundamental principle of Judaism. We will, of course, commit ourselves to the giving of צדקה, charity, and the performing acts of גמילת חסד, deeds of loving-kindness, in their memory. That is our Jewish response. But to dispel the fear and hatred at the root of this tragedy, we must also commit ourselves to replacing ignorance with knowledge.

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Seeking Justice – Our Spiritual DNA

Seeking Justice – Our Spiritual DNA

Throughout history, Jews have been concerned with promoting human rights and dignity for all. What is the source for our concern? To find the answer we must go back in time to the founder of Judaism Avraham.

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