Torah Lishma, Torah For Its Own Sake

Teachings from Our Rabbi

marshall

Forgiving Your Family

on Saturday, 26 September 2009. Posted in Rabbi Marshall's Sermons

Erev Rosh Hashanah

All night long Jacob wrestles with an angel.[1]

He wrestles with “voices, emotions, fear, and a need to forgive.”[2]

Jacob battles throughout the night, and emerges wounded.

As the sun rises, the angel blesses him with a new name, Yisrael,

one who wrestles with God.

Preparing for Sacred Time

on Tuesday, 01 September 2009. Posted in Rabbi Marshall's Articles

The ORacle, September 2009 Issue

Although it may feel like the High Holidays are suddenly upon us, our tradition specifically sets aside time for introspection and study. The entire month of Elul, the month before the Days of Awe, is a time for self‐examination.

Food for Thought

on Saturday, 01 August 2009. Posted in Rabbi Marshall's Articles

The ORacle, August 2009 Issue

God: Thou shall not seethe a kid in its mother’s milk. (Exodus 23:19)

Moses: You mean we should not mix milk and meat?

God: Thou shall not seethe a kid in its mother’s milk. (Exodus 34:26)

Moses: Ah. You mean we should wait three hours between milk and meat!

God: Thou shall not seethe a kid in its mother’s milk. (Deuteronomy 14:21)

Moses: Got it, God. You mean we should have two complete sets of dishes.

God: Whatever, Moses. Have it your way.

The Jewish Approach to Bereavement

on Monday, 01 June 2009. Posted in Rabbi Marshall's Articles

The ORacle, June 2009 Issue

“After the death of Abraham, the Eternal comforted Abraham’s son Isaac.”[1]

Our Torah encourages acceptance of the inevitability of death and teaches the sacredness of grief, sympathy, and comforting the mourners. God provides our first example of consoling the bereaved and our Rabbis defined Jewish laws related to death and mourning to help us fulfill these mitzvot. Because many of us did not grow up explicitly observing these laws, here is some background information:

Welcoming the Stranger

on Friday, 01 May 2009. Posted in Rabbi Marshall's Articles

The ORacle, May 2009 Issue

“The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens. You shall love each one as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt; I am the Eternal your God.”

-Leviticus 19:33-34

Our Jewish self-identity revolves around our earliest roots as gerim, as strangers. The commandment not to oppress the stranger is repeated thirty-six times—the most often repeated commandment in the Torah. Our appreciation of this commandment is reenacted each Pesach as we retell of our Egyptian enslavement and also recalled every time we recite the kiddush, the blessing over the wine, thanking God for freeing us from Egyptian bondage. Moses even goes as far as to name his son Gershom, meaning “a stranger there.” Gershom stands as a powerful symbol of our mindfulness of this commandment.

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