Archive | Teachings

Vayera: A Visionary Journey

At the conclusion of last week’s portion Lech Lecha, “Go To Yourself”, Abram has expanded into Abraham, and has circumcised himself – meaning, as I described last week, that Abraham has opened himself and committed himself to remain open to YHVH, Life Unfolding. As this week’s reading of Vayera, which means “He Had a Vision,” opens, Abraham is […]

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Behold, It Is Very Good

Rabbi Jonathan Kligler · TIATI 1 Bereishit Jonathan Kligler וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים אֶת־כָּל־אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה וְהִנֵּה־טוֹב מְאֹד Va’yar Elohim et kol asher asah v’hinei tov me’od … And God looked at all that God had made and behold, it was very good … (Genesis 1:31). The Torah begins, and the curtain rises on creation. The first chapter […]

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Justice, Justice

This week’s Parsha, Shoftim, begins with this famous declaration: Tzedek, tzedek tirdof — Justice, justice thou shalt pursue. Deuteronomy 16:20 This is one of the central declarations of the Torah, echoed in many other instructions. For example: You shall not be partial in judgment; hear out low and high alike. Decide justly between the Israelite […]

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The Shma — Attention, Please

(This week’s Torah portion contains the Shma Yisrael and the paragraph that immediately follows, V’ahavta (“You shall love…). Following is a teaching about these passages that I originally offered during Yom Kippur, 5769/2008. Shabbat Shalom, JK) Shma Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai Echad. (Deuteronomy 6:4) Shma Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai Echad. Conventionally translated as “Hear, O […]

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D’varim: Finding Your Voice

B’ever ha’Yarden b’eretz Moav ho’il Moshe be’er et hatorah hazot On the far side of the Jordan, in the land of Moab, Moses undertook to explain this Torah (Deuteronomy 1:5) The English name of the fifth and final book of the Five Books of Moses is “Deuteronomy”. Deuteronomy is a Greek term that means “repetition […]

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Matot-Mas’ei: The Inner Journey

Eileh mas’ei V’nei Yisrael asher yatz’u me’eretz Mitzrayim These are the journeys of the Children of Israel after leaving the Land of Egypt (B’Midbar 33:1) As we reach the end of the book of B’Midbar, the Children of Israel have arrived at the banks of the River Jordan. The Promised Land is just on the […]

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Pinchas: The Daughters of Tzelofechad

Vatikravnah B’not Tzelofechad… The daughters of Tzelofechad came forward… (Numbers 27:1 We encounter a remarkable passage as Sefer B’Midbar, the Book of Numbers, draws near its conclusion. The forty years of wandering have passed, and the Children of Israel are approaching the banks of the Jordan River. Miriam and Aaron have passed away, and Moses […]

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Balak: Mah Tovu – How Good It Is

Mah tovu ohalecha Ya’akov, mishkenotecha Yisrael How goodly are your tents, Jacob, your dwelling places, Israel (Numbers 24:5) The Israelites are journeying toward the Jordan River, and pass through the territory of King Balak of Moab. Balak is terrified, and hires the prophet Balaam to lay a curse upon the Israelites. Three times Balaam climbs […]

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