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A Reform Jewish Community for all of Tucson
225 North Country Club • Tucson, AZ 85716
(520) 327-4501 • Fax: (520) 327-4504
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Yom Shlishi, 6 Tishri 5775

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Our Choice

Posted on September 17th, 2014

In this week's Torah portions of Nitzavim and Vayelech, Moses is nearing the end of his leadership—and his life. That gives a special poignancy to his message here. It is the last will and testament of Mosheh Rabeinu, Moses on Management. What will Moses teach us about how to carry on after he is gone? How will our greatest leader pass the baton, and who will he give it to?

Read more: Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon's Weekly Torah Talk on Nitzavim-Vayelech 5774

To Change the World

Posted on September 10th, 2014

How do we go about changing our world? And how long should it take?

Our Torah portion this week, Ki Tavo, gives us powerful commandments about how we are to live in society. We are commanded to be moral, to protect the rights of the impoverished, the widow, and the stranger. We are to be honest in business, careful of the needs of the hungry and the homeless. We are to create a society of ethical practice and moral concern. We are to understand that a nation is judged by how it treats its weakest, neediest members. We are told repeatedly that God knows and expects us to live to this covenant, to uphold it, to cherish it, to make it our own. And we are told of the blessings that will be ours if we can do this, and the curses we will bring on ourselves if we cannot.

Read more: Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon's Weekly Torah Talk on Ki Tavo 5774

Truly Caring Community

Posted on September 3rd, 2014

This Shabbat in Temple we will read the Torah portion of Ki Teitzei from the middle section of Deuteronomy, Devarim. Ki Teitzei contains more laws than any other Torah portion, 74 in all, among them the rules that apply to warfare, laws related to safe and proper building construction, and labor laws more enlightened than those that exist in Arizona today. But there is one area of Jewish law addressed in Ki Teitzei that remains especially relevant now.

Read more: Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon's Weekly Torah Talk on Ki Teitzei 5774

And Justice for All

Posted on August 27th, 2014

Our portion this week begins with a passage that is perfect for any election year: Shoftim v'shotrim titen l'cha b'chol sh'arecha, judges and officers you shall select for yourselves in all of our gates. Deuteronomy tells us we are to choose official leaders for our cities, our regions, and, ultimately, our country. But what are the Jewish criteria for an appropriate official?

Shoftim tells us: our leaders must judge the people with righteous judgment. They must not favor the rich over the poor. They must not defer to famous or powerful individuals. They must be incorruptible, taking no bribes or influence payments. They must be scrupulously honest.

Read more: Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon's Weekly Torah Talk on Shoftim 5774

Advance Credits

Posted on August 20th, 2014

I know it's unbelievable, but public school started a week ago, Hebrew School began yesterday, Religious School kicks off this coming Sunday, and the High Holidays are coming up in just over a month. We bless the new month of Elul on this Shabbat because Rosh Chodesh Elul is next Wednesday, the beginning of the last month of the Jewish year, which we will celebrate by inaugurating our new Project Elul program of 6 AM daily connection, prayer, and inspiration. It's the time of year for us to think about the state of our relationships, to prepare to do a cheshbon hanefesh, an accounting of the state of our souls, to reflect on where we are in our lives, where we've been, and where we are headed.

Read more: Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon's Weekly Torah Talk on Re'eh 5774

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