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Rabbi David Rabhan

Remember This Day: Understanding the Maimonidean Approach to the Seder

April 12, 2022, by

מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה שֶׁל תּוֹרָה לְסַפֵּר בְּנִסִּים וְנִפְלָאוֹת שֶׁנַּעֲשׂוּ לַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ  בְּמִצְרַיִם בְּלֵיל חֲמִשָּׁה עָשָׂר בְּנִיסָן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות יג ג) “זָכוֹר אֶת הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה אֲשֶׁר יְצָאתֶם מִמִּצְרַיִם” כְּמוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כ ח) “זָכוֹר אֶת יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת”. It is a biblical positive command, to tell all about the miracles and wonders that were performed for our forefathers in […]

The Haggadah and Three Key Coping Mechanisms

April 1, 2020, by

This year’s Seder will be different from all other Sedarim. It will be quieter and lonelier without extended family and friends. It will be a Seder where the words, kol dechfin yatay veyachol/all that are hungry let them come and eat, will ring hollow as the gravity of the COVID-19 situation will force, “no man […]

“Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall”

August 7, 2019, by

Lessons from President Ronald Reagan for Tisha Ba’av and The Rebuilding of the Third Beit Hamikdash On June 12, 1987, President Ronald Reagan delivered a memorable and inspiring speech at the base of the Berlin Wall. In the speech, Reagan extolled the virtues of democracy and freedom. He said: “In the 1950’s, (Soviet Premier) Khrushchev predicted: […]

Parshat Zachor and the Dialectic of Jewish Unity

March 14, 2019, by

In the special Torah portion for Zachor, G-d commands the Jewish people to remember the terrible and heinous deeds of the evil Amalek nation. Zachor et asher asah lecha Amalek, baderech betzetchem Memitzrayim, Remember that which Amalek did to you, on the way when you left Egypt, This verse of Zachor is puzzling and unusual, in that […]

The Transformative Power of Rosh Hashanah

September 13, 2017, by

A story that illustrates an awesome power of Rosh Hashanah is the story of Joseph in Egypt. According to the Talmud, when Joseph went to sleep as a thirty-year-old man on Rosh Hashanah night, Joseph was incarcerated in the depths of an Egyptian prison. Joseph was completely powerless. Joseph was completely alone; forgotten, forsaken and […]

Shabbat Nachamu – “Getting Up”

July 30, 2015, by

There is an almost absolute absurdity with this coming Shabbat—Shabbat Nachamu. Last Saturday night we were sitting on the floor thinking about the sadness of Tisha Baav and mourning the loss of the Temple in Jerusalem and the tragedies that have unfolded during the past 2,000 years. Yet, this Shabbat there will be a completely […]