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Learning Resources

See below for the most recently-posted commentaries on the weekly Torah portion, audio files of classes, and the Focus Journal. The archives of resources are accessible via the menu at right.

Parshat Tetzaveh
JSN Parsha Team, March 2012

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Parshat Tetzaveh is to Parshat Terumah as the fashion designer is to the architect. In Parshat
Terumah we were taught the architectural design of the tabernacle, depicting the dimensions of the
tabernacle and all that was contained within.


JSN Parsha Team
Parshat Mishpatim, February 2012

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As Jews, we experienced first-hand the oppression of slavery in ancient Egypt. And, as Americans, we share the feeling of national guilt for the sin of African-American enslavement. Jewish Americans have no lack of moral clarity on this issue. Slavery is the ultimate abuse of basic human rights, and it is evil. Period.


JSN Parsha Team
Parshat Yitro, February 2012

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In this week's parsha, we finally arrive at Sinai. G-d teaches the nation the Ten
Commandments, Moshe ascends the mountain to receive the Oral Tradition, and the eternal relationship between G-d and the Jews is irrevocably established. The rest is history.


JSN Parsha Team
Parshat Terumah, February 2012

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In this week's parsha, G-d commands us to build Him a home, a Mishkan (Tabernacle). This mitzvah certainly raises eyebrows. Why on earth does G-d need a home? Are the desert nights getting too cold? The whole idea of a house for G-d is quite ridiculous. As the Midrash says, “When G-d said, 'Build a sanctuary for Me,' Moshe countered, 'But the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain You! (I Kings 8:27)' (Bamidbar Rabba 12:3).


earbudsRabbi Yakov Marcus

What is special about the land of Israel? An analysis of Moshe's response to the sin of the spies.

Click here for Rabbi Marcus's handout

FileFile size
Download this file (Special Nature of the land of Israel.mp3)Special Nature of Israel17142 Kb

Rabbi Avi Stewart
Parshat Beshalach, February 2012

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As children, we heard the legends of the righteous people.  Perhaps we were told the tales of the thirty-six hidden tzaddikim.  We were taught about the great role models of the Jewish people.  We were informed of the saintly men and the virtuous women.  Defining who is righteous and what is saintly is a task for which many people are ill equipped.  Direction for how one goes from being a good person, to becoming a great person, is often lacking.  There is a Midrash in our parsha that provides us some insight that will enable us to walk on the “Path of the Just.”