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Rodef Shalom: Peace, Peace You Shall Pursue
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We live in a world of turmoil – political, geopolitical, spiritual. Too often it seems that turmoil and strife are fundamental to our natures, but they are not. We want peace; we seek peace; we pray for peace – not because it is a hopeless dream, but because it is the gift God promises us. […]
Seven: The Power of Numbers
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Numbers have power and significance. Some numbers have greater significance than others, often due to their properties as primes or unique, or their role in anchoring our numbering system. The number one is unique. It is the identity number. It is, by definition, singular. “Who Knows One?” goes the Passover song. “One is our G-d […]
This Day: Derech Eretz and the Study of Torah
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Our modern culture teaches us to “stop and smell the roses.” To relax, “take a load off”. We push ourselves too relentlessly, we are told. We need to take time and “de-stress”, as if all actions that we perform are of equal value and weight. It is not that we need to stop what we […]
Love is More Than the Negative of a Negative
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Why does God give us the Ten Commandments? Why does He make explicit that we are not, for example, to murder? The most obvious answer is that God commands us not to murder because human beings do murder. If we did not murder then the commandment itself would be so unnecessary. In Kedoshim, we are […]
“My Sin is Before Me Always”
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We live at a time when even the most “humble” amongst us seems to have a blog, or a Twitter account, or a website or, or, or… or some other way or means for amplifying his voice, perspectives, “teachings”, etc. As you can imagine, if the humble is so quick to trumpet his gifts then […]
Oops! is No Excuse
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“As Freud has shown, blunders are not the merest chance. They are the result of suppressed desires and conflicts. They are ripples on the surface of life, produced by unsuspected springs. And these may be very deep – as deep as the soul itself. The blunder may amount to the opening of a destiny.” -Joseph […]
Each and Every Day: Holiness is Step by Step
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My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind. – Albert Einstein Central to the narrative in Shemot is the transformation of the people into the nation of Israel from the remnants of our […]
It Takes a Village: The Music of a Community
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In the movie, Mary Poppins, we are introduced to Dick van Dyke’s character, Bert, when he is performing as a “one-man band.” It is fascinating, watching how he plays drums, percussion, accordion, brass… all together and creating a.. a what? Music? Noise? A mere cacophony of sound. One could be forgiven for concluding that Bert’s […]