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The Ancient Infant Within Us

October 11, 2005, by

You and I know what it’s like, because we’re both human: the sense of innocence, and of having been wronged. The keen desire to craft some put-down that will diminish the other person as he has diminished us, to put him back down and ourselves back up; to restore our dignity as it must be

What If?

September 30, 2005, by

What if the shofar sounded last week, last month, last year? And what if we slept right through it? We all have moments when we feel something deep within our hearts and souls. When the core of our being tells us that something is so. Tells us we must do something, and do it now,

Ki Tavo: Selichot Prior to Rosh HaShana – Part One

January 18, 2005, by

The custom of reciting selichot (penitential prayers) in the days preceding Rosh HaShana is quite ancient, and is mentioned already in the early Rishonim. The custom of the Sephardim, as mentioned in Shulchan Arukh (OC 581), is to recite selichot from the beginning of Elul; the Rema adds that the custom of the Ashkenazim is

Shoftim: Confusing the Accuser – Part One

January 18, 2005, by

A theme which we encounter repeatedly in the mitzvah of Shofar is “confusing the accuser” (Satan). For instance: The Gemara tells us that we blow the shofar on Rosh Hashana both sitting and standing “in order to confuse the accuser” (Rosh Hashana 16b). In the siddur of Rav Amram Gaon and in Machzor Vitry, this