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(Don’t) Look Back
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We live in the present, fantasize about the future, and distort the past. The mind, homo sapiens’ greatest tool, can imagine a beautiful future and set in motion the plan to implement it. Alternatively, man can be weighed down by the past, unable to escape preconceptions, negative experiences, or abuses imagined or real. Both the […]
Consensus vs. Command?
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What do you say to your successor? What advice do you give him or her? Vayelech is the place to look for the answer, because it is here that Moses finally handed the reins over to Joshua, and he and God both give him a blessing for the future. But they gave different blessings. Listen […]
Defeating Death
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Only now, reaching Nitzavim-Vayelech, can we begin to get a sense of the vast, world- changing project at the heart of the Divine-human encounter that took place in the lifetime of Moses and the birth of Jews/Hebrews/Israel as a nation. To understand it, recall the famous remark of Sherlock Holmes. “I draw your attention,” he […]
Jonah and ISIS
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Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness has come up before me. But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Jaffa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish… – Jonah 1:1-3 Is there a more singular, better known […]
Parshas Nitzavim-Vayeilech
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This week’s sedra Nitzavim, opens in the most curious manner. It starts with an odd exclamation, “you all stand here today in the presents of Hashem your God”. The verses then list individually the leaders, the elderly, the men, women, children, and converts, from the water carriers to the lumber jacks. True, the Torah does […]