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Holidays

Arise From Your Slumber

June 30, 2006, by

What does the sound of the Shofar say to you? The Rambam, Maimonides, heard in the sound the following inspirational message. “…Arise from your slumber, you who are asleep; wake up from your deep sleep, you who are fast asleep; search your deeds, repent, and remember your Creator. Those of you who forget the truth […]

Preparation For Judgment

June 30, 2006, by

In modern society, a person would not appear in court (even small claims court), without preparing his or her case, so as to be able to present it to the judge in the most convincing fashion. Thus, Kal Vachomer [a Talmudic term meaning "certainly"] a person should not come into Rosh HaShanah without properly preparing […]

The First Rosh HaShanah

June 30, 2006, by

On the 25th day of Elul the world came into being (Midrash – Jewish Lore). Adam, the First Man, and Chava, the First Woman, were created on the last of the Six Days of Creation, the Eve of Shabbat – This day is celebrated as Rosh HaShanah. Thus, when we say on Rosh HaShanah “Today […]

The Sin of The Golden Calf and Forgiveness

June 30, 2006, by

When the Jewish People sinned by worshipping the Golden Calf (Shemot 32:1-6) right after receiving the Torah from G-d, in effect rejecting His great gift, Moshe broke the first set of Holy Tablets, on which were inscribed the Ten Commandments. Moshe then ascended Mount Sinai and pleaded with G-d for mercy and forgivness on behalf […]

Resh Lakish, the Reformed Bandit

June 30, 2006, by

Shimon, the son of Lakish, was the leader of a group of bandits, during the role of the Romans, after the Destruction of the Second Temple. He had a reputation for great strength, with a wild, even violent streak. He was also supposed to have great leadership ability, with very high, if somewhat misdirected, intelligence. […]

Rabbi Akiva, Master of Teshuvah

June 30, 2006, by

Rabbi Akiva, as a young man, did not know a word of Torah. He worked as a shepherd for “Ben Kalba Savua,” one of the richest men in Yerushalayim. One day, Rachel, the daughter of Ben Kalba Savua, looked at Akiva and was extremely impressed by his modesty and his gentleness with her father’s flocks. […]

Stories from the Talmud about People who Repented

June 30, 2006, by

“Midrashim” about “Baalei Teshuvah,” People who Repented Some of the “Midrashim” found in the Talmud about “Baalei Teshuvah,” People who Repented, are as follows: “One who says, ‘I will sin, then repent; I will sin, then repent’ is not permitted to repent.” (Masechet Yoma 85b) Comment: The generosity of Hashem is infinite, but a person […]

The Four Steps of Repentance

June 30, 2006, by

Teshuvah (Return, or Repentance) is a generous gift from G-d, which allows us to erase our improper actions through a four-step process (see below). The Torah tells us that no matter how far we stray or how many times we sin, G-d will wait for us to return to him through Teshuvah. There are four […]

Stories from the Talmud about Repentance

June 30, 2006, by

“Midrashim” about “Teshuvah,” Repentance “Midrashim” are stories and ideas from sections of the Talmud not dealing directly with aspects of Jewish Law. The stories are either true stories about famous or not-so-famous individuals, which illustrate a moral point, obvious fables, again illustrating moral points, or philosophical ideas, derived from verses in the Bible. Some of […]

What are Sin and Repentance?

June 30, 2006, by

“Sin” or “Chet” in Hebrew, means “failure in our relationship with HaShem (G-d).” Our goal should be to continually move closer to G-d, But “chet” is behavior which causes us to move away from G-d. “Repentance” or “Teshuvah” in Hebrew, means “Return.” In this context, it means “Return to G-d” and to behavior required of […]