Temple Israel

Building Community Since 1954
A Progressive Conservative Synagogue Serving Central Florida

50 South Moss Road
Winter Springs, FL 32708
Phone: (407) 647-3055
Email: office@tiflorida.org

50 South Moss Road, Winter Springs, FL 32708
Phone: (407) 647-3055 | Email: office@tiflorida.org

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Miketz Torah Introduction 5772

Written by Rabbi Joshua Neely

Posted on December 16, 2014

The Torah portion begins with Pharaoh’s dreams of cows and grain followed by Joseph’s interpretation and stellar rise to power. The rest of the parashah covers Joseph implementing his agricultural policies – to be followed by a little restructuring of the entire Egyptian social structure next week – and his dealings with his brothers when Continue Reading »

Vayeishev Torah Introduction 5772

Written by Rabbi Joshua Neely

Posted on December 8, 2014

Poor Mrs Potiphar. She gets a bad rap, doesn’t she? The story so far, Joseph annoys his brothers by being a tattletale, egocentric and earning undeserved praise and glory from his father. So his brothers sell him off to be a slave. There he is appointed to chief of the household for Potiphar. He is Continue Reading »

Vayishlach Torah Introduction 5771

Written by Rabbi Joshua Neely

Posted on December 2, 2014

How do we make peace with someone we have mistreated? How do we make peace with those who have mistreated us? How do you make peace within a family built on discord and mistrust? Yaakov came back from Haran a rich man. He had wealth, he had a large family, he had the Canaanite dream. Continue Reading »

Vayetzei Torah Introduction 5772

Written by Rabbi Joshua Neely

Posted on November 25, 2014

Jacob has a rough home life. It’s not surprising. He arrives in Charan having fled the wrath of his brother and is forced to look to his Uncle Lavan for help. Rebecca’s brother, Lavan, is quick to leap at an opportunity just as he did when she was offered the chance to marry Isaac; he Continue Reading »

Toldot Torah Introduction 5772

Written by Rabbi Joshua Neely

Posted on November 18, 2014

For a parashah ostensibly about Isaac, very little of his life gets discussed. He gets one chapter to himself where he seems to relive much of his father’s experiences. The rest of Toldot concerns his two sons, Jacob and Esau. The story of Jacob buying Esau’s birthright for a bowl of soup is well known. Continue Reading »

Chayei Sarah Torah Introduction 5772

Written by Rabbi Joshua Neely

Posted on November 11, 2014

Why were so many of Israel’s ancient enemies distant relatives? Ishmael was Isaac’s half brother, yet his descendants would harass the Israelites time and again. Midian was another half brother through Abraham’s final wife Keturah and they would attack us and try to curse us as we left Egypt. Jacob’s brother Esau would go on Continue Reading »

Vayera Torah Introduction 5772

Written by Rabbi Joshua Neely

Posted on November 3, 2014

Where to begin? Abraham’s fabled hospitality? The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah? The miracle of Isaac’s birth? The fight between wives and the expulsion of Ishmael? The Akeidah, the binding and near slaughter of Isaac? None of those, well not right now at least. Think instead about the small tragedy that unfolds after the destruction Continue Reading »

Lech Lecha Torah Introduction 5773

Written by Rabbi Joshua Neely

Posted on October 28, 2014

Although the big destruction scene and Lot’s escape come next week, we meet Sodom and Gomorrah this week. Even though the name of Sodom has become synonymous with a sexual act, our sages record different acts as their true crimes. They would pervert justice at every turn. They made victims of stabbings pay a doctor’s Continue Reading »

Noah Torah Introduction 5772

Written by Rabbi Joshua Neely

Posted on October 23, 2014

I’d like to take a traditional look at the story of Noah and the ark. By traditional, I mean look at the meaning of the story rather than arguing over its historical truth. Before the modern times, we read this story for what it could teach us about our faith, relationship with God and relationship Continue Reading »

Chol haMoed Sukkot 5774

Written by Rabbi Joshua Neely

Posted on October 7, 2014

We are nothing if not a clever people. In the very special reading for Shabbat during Sukkot, we recite, among other things, the 13 attributes of God’s mercy. On a regular festival on a regular weekday, this selection is included in the Torah service right after we remove the Torahs from the ark. If the Continue Reading »

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Temple Israel - Building Community Since 1954