Posts by Pastor Matt McKeown
The Hidden Blessing
This past week’s Torah portion was Balak. I don’t normally dedicate my d’var to a person but one year ago y I was in Texas with Noah Shapira at his Bar Mitzvah on July 4th and this was his portion. It was an extraordinary celebration what with all the fireworks and I can’t believe a…Read More
What’s In A Word?
This past week we had another double portion, Achrei Mot-Kedoshim. This comes right after the death of Aaron’s sons Nadav and Avihu. Aaron had two other sons, Elezar and Itamar, but we will talk about them some other time. Today I am going to focus on what happened right after these deaths. It is a…Read More
Of The Heart
This past week we had a double Torah portion of Tazria-Metzorah. I just want to focus on a single verse from the first portion, Leviticus 12:3. This might seem an “interesting” verse to focus on, it is the verse dealing with circumcision: on the eighth day the flesh shall be circumcised. I have talked about…Read More
Walk This Way?
This week’s Torah portion is actually two, vayakhel and pikudei. I am going to focus this week on the first. We are all familiar with the story of the stone tablets that Moses smashed when he realized that the people were involved in the sin of the golden calf. What is interesting is that the…Read More
What Is Precious?
This week’s Torah portion is Terumah. This week I am in a temporary place, a hotel with my children for their basketball playoffs. Both of my children still living at home made it to the finals and it is very exciting. So just as I am in a temporary place, this week is all about…Read More
What’s It Worth?
This week’s Torah portion is Mishpatim and it can be a bit confusing if you didn’t grow up in a Jewish context or if you don’t know about Jewish tradition. It can even seem a bit barbaric because this is the portion in which we are introduced to the concept of an eye for…Read More
Samuel David Luzato, know as the Shadal, from Padua is not be confused with Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzato. The Shadal brings up very interesting points about this week’s Torah portion, Beshalach. In Chapter 13 of Exodus God says that he is going to bring the Israelites, not on the shortcut through the land of the…Read More
Can You See It?
So this week’s portion is Bo and in it we learn about the Passover, but not just the order to kill the first born sons, but how to celebrate in the future. I was given a beautiful Passover Haggadah as a gift. It was given as a gift to someone on their bar mitzvah in…Read More
What’s In a Word
This week’s Torah portion is Vaera, on of my personal favorites. And it is a favorite because of the relationship between the brothers Moses and Aaron and the way in which they help each other. Moses makes the excuse that he is a person that cannot speak well and so God sends his brother Aaron…Read More
What’s In a Name?
This week’s Torah portion is Shemot, which means “names”. It is the first of the book of Exodus. There are many things to talk about in the portion but we will start with Rashi and Pharaoh’s three advisors and see where we go from there. At the very beginning of Exodus it tells us that…Read More