temple emanu-el
top border
Torah Commentary Blog

Temple Emanu-El’s Torah commentaries are prepared by members of our clergy, senior staff, Religious School faculty and Saturday morning Torah Study group. Blog comments are moderated. Please note that we reserve the right to delete comments that are deemed inappropriate, use offensive language, promote personal attacks or are self-serving (promote goods and services). At the same time, we hope that this blog will promote thoughtful dialogue and continued learning. If you are a temple member interested in joining our team of writers, contact Prince Davis.



Parashat Tzav (March 24, 2018)
By Bettijane Eisenpreis
LET’S FACE IT: Parashat Tzav (Leviticus 6:1–8:36) is not the most fascinating portion in the Torah. Reading verse after verse of instructions on priestly sacrifices can make the eyes glaze over. Still, the verses cited above can be interesting, especially on the week before Passover.

Continue reading Bettijane’s commentary »




Post a comment/View comments » (0 comments)


Parashat Vayak’heil/P’kudei (March 10, 2018)
By Bettijane Eisenpreis
“MOSES BLESSED THEM.” Wait a minute! I thought only God had the power to bless human beings. I know the Children of Israel have just finished building the Tabernacle, which will house the Ark of the Covenant and accompany the people throughout their 40 years in the desert. I could understand if it said, “Moses called down God’s blessing upon them.” But Moses blessed them himself! Where does he get the authority to do that?

Continue reading Bettijane’s commentary »




Post a comment/View comments » (0 comments)


Parashat Yitro (February 3, 2018)
By Bettijane Eisenpreis
AT THE BEGINNING OF EXODUS, Jethro (Hebrew: Yitro), the priest of Midian, took Moses in when Moses was fleeing from Egypt and gave him his daughter Zipporah, as a wife. Now Jethro has emerged again. At the beginning of the parashah named Yitro, Jethro sends word that he is coming to see Moses in the wilderness and is bringing Zipporah and their two sons with him. Moses greets Jethro effusively, going out to meet him, kissing him and inviting him into his tent.

Continue reading Bettijane’s commentary »




Post a comment/View comments » (0 comments)


“The Power to Affirm Humanity” – Parashat Sh’mot (January 6, 2018)
By Rabbi Sara Sapadin
IN HER ASTUTE ANALYSIS OF Parashat Sh’mot, Rabbi Bassin discusses the Israelites’ compulsion to see themselves as agents of their own downfall. Pharaoh would not have turned against them unwittingly, so the Israelites must have done something to prompt him. That something is identified in the verse: But the Israelites were “fertile, swarmed, and multiplied themselves greatly” (Exodus 1:7). One word, “swarmed,” is all it takes to characterize an entire people as a squirmy, slimy, buzzing pestilence.

Continue reading Rabbi Sapadin’s commentary »




Post a comment/View comments » (0 comments)


Parashat Sh'mot (January 6, 2018)
By Bettijane Eisenpreis
IN A LAND OF DESERTS, the well must have been the local meeting place. Many stories in the Torah follow a pattern: The younger son becomes the preferred sibling instead of his older brother; the man asks his wife to say she is his sister; or, in this case, the couple meets at a well.

Continue reading Bettijane’s commentary »




Post a comment/View comments » (0 comments)


Previous 5 Next 5
photo of temple
One East 65th St., New York, New York 10065. Phone  212-744-1400
One East 65th Street, New York, NY 10065    (212) 744-1400 horizontal rule Member Log In | Calendar | Site Map | Contact Us | Text Size [+] [-]