24 Sep 2014

“What day is it?” “It’s today,” squeaked Piglet. “My favorite day,” said Pooh.   ― A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh   After hearing the sound of the shofar on Rosh HaShana, we say “Hayom harat olam”, which means,  “today the world was conceived”. Rosh HaShana stands in our calendar…

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19 Sep 2014

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”. — John Lennon, “Beautiful Boy” Moshe’s days are ending and, as his passionate words to his beloved people reach their crescendo, he implores us to “Choose Life, so that you may live!” (30:19) At first glance, it…

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12 Sep 2014

Perashat Ki Tabo opens with a unique mitzvah that we have not been able to fulfill for 2,000 years. G-d asks us to bring our first fruits grown in the Land of Israel to the Bet Mikdash (Holy Temple) and present it to the kohen. We are then to…

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05 Sep 2014

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler”.— Albert Einstein  Reality is complex. The subtleties presented to us in our daily lives are often more than we care to acknowledge. Relationships that we have with others may be multifaceted and require special sensitivities when interacting, or…

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29 Aug 2014

Don’t take bribes, for bribes blind the eyes of the wise and make crooked the path of the righteous. (16:19) Faithfulness and integrity are essential ingredients for building an ethical life. Having integrity means that we are consistent in doing what is right even when no one is watching. Bribes…

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22 Aug 2014

“For I did not speak to your fathers on the day that I freed them from Egypt about offerings and sacrifices.” (Yirmiyah 7:22)  There are points in Moshe’s swan song that get technical. In perashat Re’eh Moshe details no less than 55 commandments that are to become part of…

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14 Aug 2014

“To be really great in little things, to be truly noble and heroic in the insipid details of everyday life, is a virtue so rare as to be worthy of canonization.” — Harriet Beacher Stowe The name of our parasha, Ekeb, is the word for ‘heel’in Hebrew. According to…

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11 Aug 2014

Many religions teach that to serve G-d properly one must sacrifice one’s life for G-d. This week’s parasha tells us that doing so would be a colossal mistake. Early on, before we were a nation or a religion, we were a movement. This movement began with a man named…

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31 Jul 2014

The book of Devarim is different from the other books of the Torah in that rather than being G-d’s words, it is comprised mainly of Moshe’s own words. It is his personal Mishne Torah (review of the Torah) that comes from the perspective of his own heart and mind….

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25 Jul 2014

There are times during our yearly readings when we might wonder why the Torah provides us with certain information. This week part of the parasha is comprised of a listing of every place the Children of Israel encamped in the desert during their 40-year sojourn. Rambam discusses the purpose…

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