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Rabbi Nachman Kahana

Yom Kippur: Contradictions

September 11, 2010, by

At the beginning of every New Year, the halacha creates within us a schizophrenia of sorts. On the one hand, we are obliged to treat Rosh Hashana as Yom Tov replete with holiday apparel and festive meals accompanied by singing in the knowledge that the “Judge” of all things will certainly deem us worthy of

End of Elul, E-mail to God

August 15, 2010, by

To the Exalted One, Creator of All Things, Rebono Shel Olam; I am sending You my yearly E-Mail (Elokim Mail) to report on the state of Your people as perceived from my virtual world, which of course is quite different from what is perceived from Your real world. There are two points I humbly wish

Parashat Vayikra: Turnabout

March 13, 2008, by

Parashat Vayikra 5768 As remote as it might appear, there is an inherent connection between the holiday of Purim and the Book of Vayikra, and this can be condensed into a single word, “VA’NAHAFOCH” meaning – an etched-in-stone status quo suddenly and unexpectedly reverses itself in a total turnabout. The word appears in Book of

Parshat Vayakhel: Time & Space

February 28, 2008, by

Parashat Va’yakhel 5768 Part One: Time & Space Part Two: The Sanctity of the Temple Mount Part One: Time & Space The Almighty created for us mortals a two dimensional world of Time and Space; each independent of the other and each with its own “natural” laws. Time can exist without a spacial entity, and

Parashat Ki Tisa: Mixed Messages

February 21, 2008, by

Parashat Ki Tisa 5768 Were it necessary to designate parashat Ki Tisa by one word, I would choose “embarrassment” – embarrassment caused by the avoda zara performed by many of the Jewish nation just forty days after receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai (notwithstanding this fact, I feel great pride in the conduct of my

Parashat Tetzaveh: Dead Seas

February 14, 2008, by

Parashat Ve’Ata Tetzaveh 5768 I am writing this week’s divrei Torah in the lobby of a magnificent hotel on the shores of the Dead Sea, that ancient area of Sodom and Amora and its three sister towns, which were destroyed by HaShem because of their debased ways. (These five cities are not unique. An acquaintance

Parshat Teruma: If You Build It, God Will Come

February 7, 2008, by

BS”D Parshat Terumah 5768 We know that Moshe built the Mishkan, and that Shlomo HaMelech built the first Bet HaMikdash, and Ezra the Scribe built the second Bet HaMikdash, but who will build the future Bet HaMikdash? In answer to this question many quote Rashi’s commentary to Sukkah 41a that the future Bet HaMikdash will descend

Parashat Mishpatim: Living in a Virtual Reality

January 31, 2008, by

The Creator chose to begin the halachic code of the Written Torah with matters pertaining to the master-slave relationship. This was done, I believe, because Jews having just undergone two centuries of ruthless Egyptian persecution would appreciate the compassion of the Torah’s laws surrounding slavery. Among other details, the parasha sets down the rules regarding