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Flags that Separate and Unite: Parshat Bamidbar
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“Do you have a flag?” Other than waving in the breeze, what function does a flag have? Hillel Bierbrier, an Advisor for NCSY/JSU Canada, provides an explanation. In this week’s parsha, Bamidbar, The Twelve Tribes of Israel are given degalim, banners, to assemble into camps under as they wander the desert. But why recognize these […]
Whose Slaves After Egypt?: Parshat Behar
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Can empowerment come through submission? Rabbi Darren Levin, the Seif JLIC Co-Director at Johns Hopkins University, poses this question in light on parshat Behar, Sefirat HaOmer and the well-known comments of the late comedian and religious skeptic George Carlin. Discover what is liberating about the Torah.
Calendar Rhythms & Counting the Omer, Parshat Emor
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Rabbi Ari Goldberg, the director of Pittsburgh NCSY, examines why for the mitzvah of Sefiras HaOmer, Counting the Omer, we don’t recite Shehechiyanu as we do for so many other annual Mitzvot. For him, like the the rhythms of nature, the traditions of hockey season and the calendar of NCSY events, it’s all about patience […]
How do you define holiness? – Parshat Kedoshim
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This week’s parsha deals with concepts of holiness. The Jewish people are commanded to be holy, but how does that manifest itself? Rabbi Dov Emerson, Head of School at YULA High School in LA and NCSY alumnus from Memphis, Tennessee, looks at the act of making Kiddush, blessing a cup of wine at the beginning […]
“In Every Generation…” A Pesach Message
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Rabbi Pinchas Stolper, the Founding Director of NCSY presents a special message for Pesach during the NCSY@60 anniversary year. Drawing on the mysteries of Lag B’Omer and the meaning of Vehi She’Amda, a passage from the Haggadah which marvels that the Covenant between HaShem and the Jewish people has endured through the generations as countless […]
Chosing a Freedom & Taking Flight – Acharei Mot
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Rabbi Gideon Black of JLIC at New York University examines two verses from Parshat Acharei Mot that make it clear that just as much as Moses had to save the Jewish people from the grasp of Pharaoh, he also had to convince those who only desired a settled life in Egyptian society not to become […]
Please Don’t Eat Your Words, Parshat Metzorah
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Parshat Metzorah expands on last week’s portion and presents the story of a person who spoke badly about someone else, and was hit with mysterious spots on their body, their clothes and even their house. Although this seems unlikely to us now, Rabbi Yehoshua Kohl, Regional Director of NY NCSY, explains the spiritual dimensions and […]
Pleasures of the Plate & Parshat Shemini
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Many of the rules outlined in the Torah help us navigate the maze of life and pertain to pleasure, especially regarding food. These are the ones that are easiest to overdo! The rules in Parshat Shemini act as an instruction manual to help us live pleasurably but also prudently. Rabbi Phil Karesh, Educational Coordinator at […]
How is Jewish Time like a Circle?: Purim
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It was a truly fateful day when King Achashverosh couldn’t fall sleep… At the pinnacle of peril in Megillat Esther, the story of Purim, megillah readers briefly switch to the melody of Yom Kippur. Why is this? Rabbi Micah Greenland, International Director of NCSY, explains that by looking at Jewish history not as timeline, but […]