Parasha: Ki Tetzey

Amalek and Memory in Pittsburgh: Evil Must Not Define Us

(This teaching on Parashat Ki Teitzei was given by Seth Rosen, chair of our board of governors, at Congregation Dor Hadash, Pittsburgh, Pa., on Sept. 14, 2019 — eleven months after the synagogue attack.) Shabbat shalom! I want to begin by telling you what a privilege it is to stand

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Ownership and Return

This week’s parashah, Ki Tetzey, contains the greatest number of mitzvot/commandments of any Torah portion. The 72 mitzvot found in the parashah focus on everything from the treatment of captives, defiant children, lost animals and the poor through laws of inheritance, weights and fair weights and measures. This amalgam of

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Honest Weights and Measures

Once, during the holy season of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the Hasidic master Rabbi Levi Yitzhak of Berditchev, paused in his devotions and looking at his disciples with sad, tear-laden eyes, remarked, “What a funny world it is that we live in these days. There was a time, you

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It Just Isn’t So!

There comes a point in the life of all faithful Jews when we face the fact that what the Torah says, just isn’t so. This does not occur when we see the differences between the ancient understanding of the origins and structures of the physical world and contemporary scientific knowledge.

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Out of Sight, But Not Out Of Mind

When we are lucky, there are unexpected moments in life that suddenly present us with the opportunity to find out who we really are. I recall one such moment during my time as a rabbi in the Los Angeles area. It involved then-22-year-old Ascension Franco Gonzales, an undocumented immigrant from

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