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.

  • July 8, 2020 / 16 Tammuz 5780

    Parshat Pinchas

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    One of the most cringe-worthy moments in the life of a company or organization is when a person says, “This is how we’ve always done it.” Perhaps a new employee or board member suggested a strategy on improving workflow or productivity. Or wanted to try a new approach to an ongoing issue. Or questioned the structure of leadership – only to be met with “This is how we’ve always done it.” Ideas and potential for growth are stopped before they even had a chance to start.

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  • July 1, 2020 / 9 Tammuz 5780

    Parashat Hukkat-Balak 

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    This week’s Torah portion, Hukkat-Balak, includes the story of Balaam, a person sent by Balak,an enemy of Israel, to curse the Israelites.

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  • July 1, 2020 / 9 Tammuz 5780

    Parashat Hukkat-Balak 

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    This week’s Torah portion, Hukkat-Balak, includes the story of Balaam, a person sent by Balak,an enemy of Israel, to curse the Israelites.

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  • June 24, 2020 / 2 Tammuz 5780

    Parashat Korach

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    This week’s Torah portion, Korach, focuses on the Israelites struggling with changing leadership dynamics and the difficulties of moving from the past into the future. This is an ongoing struggle for the Israelites, as seen in previous Torah portions. Our country is experiencing similar challenges – coming to terms with a tumultuous history and learning how to create a more just and equitable society. In difficult times, many people turn to prayer, asking God for strength and healing, as Moses does time and time again.

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  • June 17, 2020 / 25 Sivan 5780

    Parashat Sh’lach

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    This week’s Torah portion, Sh’lach, details the reactions of the group of Israelites who were sent to scout the land beyond the desert which would be known as Israel.

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  • June 10, 2020 / Shavuot 5780

    Parashat Beha’alotekha

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    This week’s Torah portion, Beha’alotekha, is filled with insights and narratives about the Israelites as they travelled in the wilderness.

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  • June 3, 2020 / Shavuot 5780

    Parashat Naso

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    It is time to address systemic racism in our communities and our country. American Jews must engage in this process, first by ensuring that Jews of Color are included in the collective voice of our People.

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  • 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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