Two Minutes of Torah

The JCRC's Rabbi in Residence, Abbi Sharofsky, provides our community with an engaging commentary on the week’s Torah portion.

  • May 27, 2020 / Shavuot 5780

    Parashat Bamidbar

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    Theological differences aside, Shavuot is a powerful affirmation of Jewish peoplehood. The Torah was given to the entire Israelite nation; it provided the essential framework for a distinct identity and culture, as well as a definitive geo-political roadmap for the Jewish people’s journey to its eventual homeland.

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  • May 20, 2020 / 26 lyar 5780

    Parashat Bamidbar

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    The Jewish community knows the importance of the census and is well positioned to be a leader in encouraging census participation.

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  • May 13, 2020 / 19 lyar 5780

    Parashat Beher-Behukkotai

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    This week’s Torah reading, Behar-Behukkotai, focuses on how we interact with each other as a society.

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  • May 6, 2020 / 12 lyar 5780

    Parashat Emor

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    This week’s Torah reading, Emor, where the Israelites are commanded to offer a measure of grain each day for seven weeks.

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  • April 29, 2020 / 5 lyar 5780

    Parashat Acharei Mot – Kedoshim

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    This week’s Torah reading, Acharei Mot-Kedoshim, in the midst of all the rules and prohibitions, the Israelites are reminded that yes, they must keep the laws – and, according one commentary on the verse, not place their own safety or well-being before upholding the commandments.

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  • April 21, 2020 / 27 Nisan 5780

    Parashat Tazria-Metzora

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    This week’s Torah reading, Tazria-Metzora, deals with sickness, skin afflictions, impurities, and separating oneself from the community when those things
    occur.

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  • April 1, 2020 / 7 Nisan 5780

    Parashat Tzav- Shabbat HaGadol

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    This Shabbat is known as “Shabbat HaGadol” or “The Great Sabbath,” marking the last Shabbat before Passover. We chanta special haftarah, reading from the Prophets, which mentions the concept of tithing and ensuring food is available for others.

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  • March 25, 2020 / 29 Adar 5780

    Parashat Vayikra

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    This week’s Torah portion, Vayikra, details the sacrificial offerings people should make in response to different incidents.

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  • March 18, 2020 / 22 Adar 5780

    Parashat Vayakhel-Pekudei

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    The Torah reading this week continues the instructions for building the mishkan (tabernacle) and listing the needed materials.

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  • March 11, 2020 / 15 Adar 5780

    Parashat Ki Tisa

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    Thankfully, we get a reminder in this week’s Torah portion, Ki Tisa.

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  • February 26, 2020 / Rosh Chodesh Adar 5780

    Parashat Terumah

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    Our Torah portion for this week, Terumah, focuses on building the tabernacle, a dwelling space for God. There are exact details on the length and height, the type of wood, metal, and fabric that needs to be used for each item.

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  • February 19, 2020 / 24 Sh'vat 5780

    Parashat Mishpatim

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    I attended my first Advocacy Day yesterday, spending the day in Annapolis, Maryland, advocating for issues important to the Jewish community.

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  • February 12, 2020 / 17 Sh'vat 5780

    Parashat Yitro

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    This week’s Torah portion, Yitro, introduces us to Moses’ father-in-law, an experienced leader in his own right.

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  • February 5, 2020 / 10 Sh'vat 5780

    Parashat Beshallach

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    Our Torah portion for this week reminds us of the power of faith, using the Song of the Sea as an anthem.

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  • January 29, 2020 / 3 Sh'vat 5780

    Parashat Bo

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    In this week’s Torah portion, Parashat Bo, we learn that we should establish one law for the citizen and the stranger.

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  • January 22, 2020 / 25 Tevet 5780

    Parashat Vaera

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    Our voices are better heard when we join together in unison, with a shared vision and goal.

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  • January 15, 2020 / 18 Tevet 5780

    Parashat Shemot

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    It is not enough for our communities to hear of each other’s pain. We can and must be present for each other, but we also need to plan for the future. When Pharaoh decreed that all male Israelite babies be killed, the midwives saved the babies and ensured a future for the Israelites. They knew that without the next generation, there was no hope.

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  • January 8, 2020 / 11 Tevet 5780

    Parashat Veyechi

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    In this week’s Torah portion, we reach the end of Jacob’s life journey. Our third forefather lies on his deathbed having his final reckonings, both positive and negative, with his sons. Interestingly, he includes in that group his two grandsons, Ephraim and Menashe, who were born to Joseph in Egypt, saying, “Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine like Reuben and Simeon.” He then offers his blessing to Joseph and thereby the Jewish people, by placing his hands on these two grandsons.

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  • January 2, 2020 / 5 Tevet 5780

    Parashat Vayigash

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    This week’s Torah portion, Vayigash, deals with Joseph revealing himself to his brothers and reuniting with his father, Jacob.

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  • December 18, 2019 / 18 Kislev 5780

    Parashat Vayeshev

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    This week’s Torah portion, Vayeshev, is filled with encounters that have lasting effects, although the impact is not always immediate or clear.

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  • December 11, 2019 / 11 Kislev 5780

    Parashat Vayishlach

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    The struggle is real and exists on many fronts. Antisemitism, a history of persecution, and lack of understanding between Jewish groups are some of those struggles. Jews persevere through these hardships, but it would be great if they didn’t happen so often – or at all.

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  • December 4, 2019 / 6 Kislev 5780

    Parashat Vayetzei

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    This week’s Torah portion, Vayetzei begins with Jacob’s interactions with the Divine. He dreams of a stairway leading to heaven, angels going up and down it, and God blessing him.

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  • November 27, 2019 / 29 Cheshvan 5780

    Parashat Toldot

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    As you are reading this, I am at my parents’ house in New Jersey. It’s good to be home for the holidays. I love Thanksgiving and all that comes with it. Families gathering from all over, the travel plans, the food, total participation in this very American holiday.

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  • November 20, 2019 / 22 Cheshvan 5780

    Parashat Chayei Sarah

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    This week’s Torah portion, Chayei Sarah, opens with Abraham finding a suitable piece of land for burying Sarah. Abraham will eventually be buried in the same location. This poignant vignette exemplifies the mitzvah of kavod ha-met, honoring of the deceased, Abraham burying Sarah in a space that was designated for her and her family members demonstrated his love and respect for her. Like Abraham, we too bury our loved ones with dignity, in respectful and well-maintained spaces.

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  • November 13, 2019 / 15 Cheshvan 5780

    Parashat Vayera

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    One of my most formative experiences in rabbinical school was clinical pastoral education (CPE). In addition to my formal training, after my ordination I completed a year-long residency at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Manhattan. Although I was initially intimidated by this most sensitive and critical of clerical duties, I quickly grew to enjoy being a spiritual care provider: I like the energy of acute care settings, and I love working with people of all religions, challenging myself to deeply explore my own faith in order to help others.

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