May 25, 2018 |

Daniel M. Kimmel

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My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) -- Shoftim

One of the ways we are supposed to think of God is as our King. This appears throughout our liturgy and is especially prominent during the High Holy Days. Yet for those of us brought up in a country without royalty, it is analogy that doesn't quite work. Our top leader is the president, and he...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'Var Torah) -- Re'eh

Parshah Re'eh opens with what may be the most important verse in the Torah for modern Jews: "See, this day I set before you blessing and curse." (Deut. 11:26). Moses is trying to persuade the Israelites to do the right thing (i.e., follow God's commands) and to warn them of the consequence if they...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'Var Torah) - Ekev

Parshah Ekev has a message for those of us concerned about the future of Conservative shuls: "You too must befriend the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt." (Deut. 10:19). When you're at shul and see someone you don't know, wish them a Shabbat Shalom (if it's Shabbat), or make...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'Var Torah) - Va'etchanan

“Do not try the Lord your God, as you did at Massah,” warns Moses in this week’s Parshah Va-Ethannan (Deut. 6:16). Massah is where they complained about lacking water (Exo. 17:1-7). It becomes a question of faith. It’s one thing to pray for God’s support. It’s another to demand constant miraculous...

My Weekly Drash ( a mini D'var Torah) - Devarim (2)

Given the recent hearings on a Supreme Court appointment, it's interesting to come across Moses's charge to judges: "You shall not be partial in judgment; hear out high and low alike.." (Deut. 1:17). It sounds like what you may have heard at the hearings, an insistence that all litigants be treated...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Matot

When you're told someone is as good as his word or that his word is his bond, what's being expressed is not only a belief in his trustworthiness and reliability, but his living up to the ideal set forth at the start of this week's double Parsha Mattot/Masei. "If a man makes a vow to the Lord or...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) -- Pinchas

Having recently read Torah for the first time I've come to appreciate the importance of becoming familiar with the text as it appears on the scroll. There are sometimes variations from standard Hebrew printing. In this week's Parshah Pinchas, for example, we see the ambivalence towards Aaron's...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Hukkat (2)

In Parshah Hukkat (the first of this week’s double portion) the rabbis make much of the juxtaposition of two verses. In the first we’re told the Israelites arrive at Kadesh and that “Miriam died there and was buried there.” (Num. 20:1). The very next verse declares, “The community was without...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Korach

Korach is one of the arch villains of the Torah, yet on the surface his question is legitimate: "For all the community is holy, all of them, and the Lord is in their midst. Why then do you raise yourselves above the Lord's congregation?" (Num. 16:3) The issue here is one of motive. When the...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Sh'lah-Lekha (2)

God has a major complaint against the Israelites in the wake of the story of the spies in Parshah Sh'lach L'cha. "How long will the people spurn Me, and how long will they have no faith in Me despite all the signs that I have performed in their midst?" (Num. 14:11). Today we would call it a...

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