Parshat Vayakhel-Pekudei: Lessons from the Mishkan

Dear Scouts: This week, we close the book of Shemos (Exodus) with the double portion of Vayakhel and Pekudei. The two portions are read on separate Shabbats during a leap year in the Jewish calendar. We end as we began, with an accounting. Shemos starts with a description of the “70 souls” who entered Egypt with […]

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Parsha TETZAVEH: Dressing the part

Dear Scouts: This week, we read Parshat Tetzaveh. Now that the Mishkan (Tabernacle) has been constructed, God commands that Aaron and his sons be consecrated to his service as priests (Kohanim), and gives instructions for their installation. The Kohanim wear special garments when they perform their holy duties. They are to wear a long linen […]

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Parsha MISHPATIM: Learning responsibility

Dear Scouts: This week’s Torah portion is Mishpatim – Judgments. It discusses cases that come before a court. Last week, in Parsha Yitro, we learned how God gave us the Ten Commandments. We also saw that Moses, acting on the advice of his father-in-law, Yitro, established courts headed by distinguished members of the community. Since […]

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Parsha Yitro: Seeing the thunder

This week we have a guest d’var Torah by Rabbi Peter Hyman, former National Chaplain of the National Jewish Committee on Scouting. Let me begin by saying Mazal Tov and Yasher Koach to those who bring us Derech Tsofeh. Last week, we celebrated the fifth anniversary of Derech Tzofeh. This week, we start a sixth […]

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Parshat BESHALLACH: Trust, the first point

This week we celebrate the fifth anniversary of Derech Tzofeh with a guest d’var Torah by Rabbi Josh Feigelson, PhD.  He is founder and director of Ask Big Questions, a project created by Hillel International to help leaders in colleges, universities, and other organizations lead effective community conversations. Rabbi Feigelson is an Eagle Scout (1989) […]

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Parsha BO: Pride goeth before…

Dear Scouts, Last week, we learned of the first seven of the Ten Plagues. This week, in Parsha Bo, God sends the last three plagues upon Egypt: Swarms of locusts that covered the entire land; six days of intense darkness; and the death of the first born of all people and animals, except the Israelites. […]

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Parsha SHEMOT: Reading the Book of Exodus

Dear Scouts: This week’s parsha, Shemot, contains some of our best-known Torah stories. Joseph dies and a new king arises over Egypt “who did not know Joseph”. Pharaoh gradually enslaves the Jews. He is afraid that the Israelites have become so numerous and strong that they could become Egypt’s enemies, so he decides to kill […]

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