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“Instant Soup or Slow Cooking?” – Parshat Toldot
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How should siblings treat each other? In this week’s parsha, Esau demands a portion of soup from his brother Jacob while the family is mourning the death of their grandfather, Abraham. By requiring this instant gratification, Esau put himself before his family, disrupting the solemn mood and eventually forsaking his status as the first-born son. […]
Chayei Sarah: Meet the In-Laws
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In this week’s parsha, Abraham is seeking to make a shidduch, a match, for his son Isaac. But he’s not just the father of Isaac, but of monotheism as well. So he’s stuck in a bind: how does he bring a daughter-in-law into the family and make sure that his children and grandchildren join him […]
Parshat Lecha Lecha – Fresh like Bread, Fine like Wine
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During the events of Parshat Lech Lecha, our patriarch, Abraham, the father of monotheism, is given wine and bread after a military victory by a righteous leader from Jerusalem. What is the point of this simple feast? Rabbi Ari Segal, head of school at Shalhavet High School in Los Angeles and a former advisor for […]
Sukkot: The Pursuit of Happiness
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Sukkot is an opportunity for seven days straight of happiness. When else do you get such an opportunity? Rabbi David Markowitz, the COO of Aish HaTorah New York, shares the insight from Rabbi Noach Weinberg that if you can focus on what you have AND if you don’t take any pain in what you don’t, […]
Bereishit, Because Everything Needs a Good Origin Story
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Like any good story, the Torah begins with the origin of EVERYTHING: Bereishit. Just as with Spider-Man, “with great power comes great responsibility,” but when the people in this first chapter of the Torah are given the chance to take responsibility, they do not. They fail. In this season following Yom Kippur, Sam Zitin, associate […]
Yom Kippur: Prepare Your Three Tools For Teshuvah
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What are you bringing to synagogue on Yom Kippur? Rabbi Dovid Cohen, who has gone from an advisor for Long Island NCSY to Rabbi at Young Israel of the Upper West Side in Manhattan, leads us on a journey into the Unetanneh Tokef prayer, specifically the line “וּתְשׁוּבָה וּתְפִלָּה וּצְדָקָה מַעֲבִירִין אֶת רעַ הַגְּזֵרָה”, that […]
New Year Resolutions – Rosh Hashanah
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This Rosh Hashanah, Rabbi Tzali Freedman, director of Central East NCSY, has some realistic advice on how to make it meaningful without being overwhelmed. There are some practical things you can do between now and Yom Kippur to bring you closer to the Creator during these Days of Awe. If it’s not already a custom, […]