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Nachamu – Shiva DeNechemta
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This week’s Haftorah is the first of seven Haftoros that are referred to as Shiva deNechemta – the Seven Haftoros of comfort. These Haftoros follow those which we read the past three weeks. Those Haftoros were referred to as the T’lasa deParanusa – the Three of Calamity. The Three Haftoros of calamity were supposed to […]
Vaeschanan 5774
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Towards the end of this week’s Sedra Moshe Rabeinu relays the most peculiar sounding message to Klal-Yisroel. Moshe Rabeinu says to Klal-Yisroel: “it is not for your greatness that Hashem chose you, for you are the smallest of all the nations. Rather it is for the love of Hashem unto you, and for his keeping […]
Keep Calm and Chesed On: Parshat VaEtchanan
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On Erev Tisha B’Av, Karen Hochhauser, a New Jersey NCSY Alumna who made aliyah, is thinking about the miracle of life in Eretz Yisrael, but also its challenges. A pasuk from Parshat VaEtchanan reminds Moshe and Bnei Yisroel never to forget about doing chesed and good deeds, adding to an outpouring of love over several […]
The Fewest of all Peoples
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Buried inconspicuously in this week’s parsha is a short sentence with explosive potential, causing us to think again about the nature of Jewish history and the Jewish task in the present. Moses had been reminding the new generation, the children of those who left Egypt, of the extraordinary story of which they are the heirs: […]
Is “One” a Number?
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To a large extent, the Book of Devarim is a polemic against idolatry. Moshe instructs, cajoles and admonishes as he attempts to inspire the people to follow one God. In the portion of VaEtchanan especially, there is a positive declaration, which is often described as the credo of Judaism: “Hear o Israel: God is our […]
What Makes Our Laws “Jewish?”
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Everyone has rules. Every society, culture, family and group. Having rules and laws hardly makes one distinct. From the ancient Laws of Hammurabi to English Common Law which, though not codified, has governed Britain since the twelfth century, laws have defined each and every society and culture on earth. Yet, though every people who ever […]