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Jewish Holidays

The Extent of Hashem’s Mercy

September 21, 2016, by

The Storyline The story of Bilam, the gentile prophet, is most peculiar. It begins when Balak, the king of Moav, recognizes that he is in danger. The Jewish Nation had just destroyed Sichon, and Moav was next. Out of desperation, Balak sent messengers to Bilam, saying, “Please, curse this nation so that we can remain […]

Sprinting Through Life

September 21, 2016, by

The Almighty communicates with us in mysterious ways. We may be going about our daily routine when G-d unexpectedly sends us a message of great importance. Such was the case about two years ago, when I had a harrowing experience sprinting down the corridor of the Love International Airport, outside of Dallas, Texas. I did […]

Judging Judiciously

September 9, 2016, by

One of the sins which we confess and for which we ask forgiveness on Yom Kippur is the sin of judgment. While one might think that this sin is specific and applies to judges and others in the practice of law, the truth is that it applies to each of us, for each of us […]

“And though the holes were rather small…”

September 21, 2015, by

In a daring and optimistic passage, the rabbis describe the Divine assistance 1 received by those who make even the smallest gesture of repentance: Yassa said: The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Israel: My children, make for Me an opening of repentance no bigger than the point of a needle, and I will […]

Visiting the Graves of Loved Ones Before Yom Kippur

September 21, 2015, by

There is a meaningful custom of visiting the graves of our loved ones during the period surrounding Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. What thoughts should enter our hearts and minds when we make this visit? We can gain an insight from a thought-provoking Talmudic teaching. The Talmud says that one who visits a cemetery is […]

An Unesanu Tokef Companion

September 8, 2015, by

As told to Chaia Frishman The chazzan begins to hum the familiar tune of Unesanu Tokef. Familiar, not because I’ve heard its melody in shul for the last few decades, but it is a part of me as I see its consequences every waking day of my life. As the Associate Director of Project Chai, Chai Lifeline’s Crisis […]

Halacha L’Maaseh: Yom Kippur

September 3, 2015, by

Asking Forgiveness If you know you have offended or otherwise injured someone, ask for forgiveness before Yom Kippur (if doing so will bring up bad feelings from the past, you may not do so–but you might not be forgiven for that injury). If you may have offended, ask for forgiveness. If you are certain that […]

Forgiveness

I don’t know whether you ever noticed, but teshuvah, the whole cycle of repentance and forgiveness, plays no part in the early dramas of humankind. It doesn’t in the story of Adam and Eve. As for Cain, God mitigates his punishment but he doesn’t forgive him for his crime. There is no call to repentance […]

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