August 19, 2018 |

Daniel M. Kimmel


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

You probably know the old joke in which the rabbi prostrates himself before the Ark on Yom Kippur declaring, “Forgive me, I am nothing.” The cantor joins him, saying, “Forgive me, I too am nothing.” The shamash follows suit: “Forgive me, I am nothing,” leading the cantor to nudge the rabbi, “Look...

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

One of the most beautiful and familiar Torah passages occurs in this week’s Parshah Naso, the priestly benediction (Num. 6:24-26). God is asked to bless Israel, to deal kindly with Israel, to bestow favor upon Israel and to grant Israel peace. This last, the desire for peace, permeates our texts...

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

We begin the book of Bamidbar this week. It’s known in English as “Numbers,” because it opens with a census of the Israelites, or at least of the adult males. Putting aside the issue of how historically accurate the census numbers are, there’s something much more interesting going on. In Num....

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

Parshah B’Hukkotai is known for its rendering of blessings followed by the “Tokhehah” (the “Reproach” or, more plainly, curses, for failing to follow the Law). As always, taking some time with a verse that might be quickly glossed over yields interesting results. The opening verse (Lev. 26:3)...

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

Here's a mystery for you. You probably are aware that the convention of dividing the Torah by chapters and verses is a later tradition. You'll see no such break in an actual Torah scroll. Thus the weekly reading may start in the middle of a chapter and conclude before a chapter is finished. This...

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

"You shall not profane My holy name, that I may be sanctified in the midst of the Israelite people..." (Lev. 22:32). Parshah Emor has much about the obligations of the priesthood and about the ritual calendar, but this passage stands out because it makes a point that our actions have consequences...

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

Parshah Kedoshim is such a rich Torah reading you can do your own d'var Torah without breaking into a sweat. So let's focus on one of the more obscure verses, Lev. 19:31, which reads in part, "Do not turn to ghosts and do not inquire of familiar spirits, to be defiled by them..." This is not...

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

This Shabbat is the seventh day of Pesach, which means we pause in the cycle of Torah readings and get a rerun from several weeks ago, reading part of Parshah B’Shallach. The reason is obvious: it tells of the Exodus, the parting of the sea, and then Moses leading the Israelites in the Song at the...

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

This Saturday is Shabbat Ha-Gadol, the Shabbat just prior to Pesach which starts Saturday evening. The Haftarah for Shabbat Ha-Gadol is from the prophet Malachi, and contains a moving statement on redemption, most appropriate for the season in which the Israelites were redeemed from slavery. "For I...

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

Parshah Metzorah continues with the rituals regarding impurities, making for less than edifying reading. Even if we acknowledge that "impure" is not the same as "unclean" or "evil," and refers to a ritual status, it still seems to have little to do with our lives. Thus it helps to think about what...


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Michael Toben

Joined: January 15, 2014

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Joined: February 3, 2017


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Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Joined: September 20, 2007

A prolific writer, musician, and teacher, Rabbi Menachem Creditor serves as rabbi of Congregation Netivot Shalom in Berkeley, CA. Rabbi Creditor currently serves on the Executive Council of the Rabbinical Assembly, the Board of Trustees of the UC Berkeley Hillel, and on the Rabbinic Advisory...

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