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Religious Life

This week's Parsha

Equality under the law and the requirement of personal responsiblity

The combined short sidrot of Matot and Masei bring us back to the early post-Egyptian history of the Israelites. Having wandered for the famous 40 years, Moses and the leadership face battles with nations that preclude their entry into Canaan — the Promised Land.

Wednesday 07/19/2017
Exact location of Shiloh tabernacle is coming to light
Posted: July 19, 2017

Ten ancient jugs unearthed at the Samaria site of the ancient city of Shiloh could lead researchers to new discoveries about the Jewish tabernacle that existed there before the First Temple was built in Jerusalem.

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Wednesday 07/12/2017
Congregation Or Tzion to hold Torah procession to new home in late July
Posted: July 12, 2017

Congregation Or Tzion is holding a Torah procession as it moves to its new home in Scottsdale.

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Taking an unpopular stand to do what’s right
Posted: July 12, 2017

Parshat Pinchas, Numbers 25:10-30:1

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Women plan mission to Israel in support of Women of the Wall
Posted: July 12, 2017

In response to the recent move by Israel’s Cabinet to freeze a government decision to expand a non-Orthodox prayer section at the Western Wall, a Valley rabbi has joined forces with another rabbi and a peace activist to lead a women’s peace mission and spirituality tour in Israel in November in support of the Women of the Wall.

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Wednesday 07/05/2017
Why all Jewish conferences should include Shabbat
Posted: July 05, 2017

I have attended countless Jewish leadership conferences. In many instances, I have even been on the steering committees responsible for the selection of a theme, the development of programming, wrangling speakers and overall logistical planning. Those responsible for scheduling always grapple with the same question: What do we do about Shabbat?

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What if animals could talk?
Posted: July 05, 2017

Ask any dog owner and they’ll tell you s/he is a “member of the family.” But are they really on the same level? On the one hand, we allow animals into our homes, our bedrooms and our most intimate moments, pouring out our affection on them during the quiet times of our days. We admire animals for their beauty, grace and the warmth they bring to our lives. At the same time, however, we also perceive ourselves as superior to animals. After all, only people were made in God’s image, says Jewish tradition. Humanity seems never to have quite settled on what animals mean to us or how we should treat them.

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Phoenix Mikvah construction continues through summer
Posted: July 05, 2017

Construction for the Phoenix Mikvah is in progress this summer with plans to open by Rosh Hashanah.

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Wednesday 06/28/2017
Calendar 06-30-17
Posted: June 28, 2017

Events

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Social entrepreneur program names new fellows
Updated: June 30, 2017 - 5:31 pm

Valley Beit Midrash (VBM) has announced the third cohort for its Start Me Up! fellowship program, which encourages Jewish social entrepreneurs up to age 45 to bring innovative ideas to the Valley’s Jewish community.

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Cool treats for a hot summer
Posted: June 28, 2017

As temperatures continue to rise, there is nothing like a cold treat to keep the heat at bay. As we approach the long Fourth of July weekend, I’d like to share a few recipes that are healthy and easy to make, while being deliciously cool!

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Jews honored in Morocco even as their numbers dwindle from a once thriving community
Posted: June 28, 2017

I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. There I was, an Orthodox Israeli Jew, at a 500-year-old synagogue in Marrakesh, distributing food parcels to Muslims for Ramadan, representing the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship) on behalf of millions of Christians in the U.S. and worldwide.

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What are you needed for?
Posted: June 28, 2017

Parshat Chukat, Numbers 19:1–22:1

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Wednesday 06/21/2017
The magic of Hershel Potter-stein
Posted: June 21, 2017

Numbers 16:1–17:15

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Wednesday 06/14/2017
Self-interest transforms good into evil
Posted: June 14, 2017

Shelach, Numbers 13:2-26

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Wednesday 06/07/2017
Parshat Beha’alotcha: Virtues of compromise
Posted: June 07, 2017

What is the primary approach judges should take? In this week’s Torah portion, we learn about the nature of the Sanhedrin and its role in ensuring keen justice for the Jewish people. Indeed, compared to systems of justice that only seek retribution over rehabilitation, Judaism takes a more utilitarian approach. Further, Judaism offers a novel approach; that arguing that compromise is the approach of the wise.

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