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Pack Some Heat!

October 6, 2008, by

Life was getting rough for Miguel Sanchez. No more were the glory days of “coyotes,” the illegal immigrant smugglers who plied their trade along the porous Mexican-American border. Back then, he could charge $1,500 a head, shove 20 people in the back of a truck, cross the border at night, leave them in the middle

Nitzavim: Understanding the Gift

September 25, 2008, by

For this mitzvah that I am prescribing to you today is not too mysterious or remote from you. It is not in heaven, [for you] to say, “Who will go up to heaven for us, – Nor is it overseas, [for you] to say – For the matter is extremely close to you; in your

Re’eh: Teshuvah

August 28, 2008, by

The day specifically mentioned in the Torah as the day of atonement is the tenth of Tishrei, Yom Kippur, but the entire ten days from Rosh HaShanah until Yom Kippur are also called the “Ten days of repentance”. And to a lesser extent the entire month of Elul is devoted to repentance as well. For

Keeping Time

September 13, 2007, by

Nothing is more important, nor more ephemeral, than time. There is no way to hold it, prolong it, save it, or push it off. It comes and goes as regularly and automatically as… well… as the cosmic clocks in the sky – earth forever circling the sun; moon dependably circling the earth. The expression to

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