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What Goes Up…
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We were created perfect and placed in a perfect paradise. What could go wrong? Apparently, “perfection” does not mean without conflict. Conflict is embedded in our natures. We are filled with the breath and spirit of God even as we share the basest instincts of the beasts of the field. We are loving and caring […]
When the End is Just the Beginning
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V’Zohs HaBeracha, the final chapter of the Torah, should not be regarded as an ending, as the Torah is cyclical rather than linear. Consequently, there are themes in Bereishis that parallel those from V’Zos HaBeracha. In this shiur, Mrs. Orlian explores the segue from the end of the Torah to the beginning, covering ideas and […]
A Blessing and a Curse: Choose
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A father is obligated to do the following for his son: to circumcise him, to redeem him if he is a first born, to teach him Torah, to find him a wife, and to teach him a trade. Others say: teaching him how to swim as well. – Kiddushin 29a The great Gaon Rav Yosef Shalom […]
The Stranger, the Frightening Other and Our Broken Promise
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Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door! – Emma Lazarus It should come as no surprise that a Jew wrote the powerful words of exhortation and welcome engraved […]
We Cannot Be Counted
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And the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which will be neither measured nor counted. – Hosea 2:1 The Talmud (Yoma 22b) teaches us that Jews may only be counted in the fulfillment of a mitzvah. Therefore, King David was harshly punished for ordering a census, “so that I may know […]
The Correct Use of Vows
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This shiur is dedicated l’ilui nishmat Freida bat Rachel, beloved mother of OU Executive Vice President Allan Fagin who’s Yahrtzeit is 20 Tammuz. Delivered at the OU Israel Center, July 23, 2019 (20 Tammuz 5779)