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The Music of the Spheres: Shirah and Meaning
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The hills are alive With the sound of music With songs they have sung For a thousand years The hills fill my heart With the sound of music My heart wants to sing ev’ry song it hears – Oscar Hammerstein II Call it history. Call it tradition. Call it mystery. Whatever it is called, the […]
When God Answers Prayer… Move Quickly!
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Two years earlier, Yosef had asked the butler to, “…remember him to Pharaoh…” For that one-time lapse, when he seemed to think that it wasn’t God who controlled his fate but rather a mere butler, Yosef was “punished” with an additional two years in that dark and awful prison. Now, after those additional years, he […]
Pachim Ketanim: Righteousness in a Disposable Culture
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Twenty long years after entering Lavan’s household, Yaakov is finally returning home to Eretz Yisrael. During that time with Lavan, he had grown in wealth and in life; he has wives, he has children. He is no longer a “young man”; he is a man. After crossing the Yaabok river, he is ready to confront […]
In Every Generation
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We were never taught this is still going on today. – Gaby Kirschner in The New York Times We were never taught. History is an arc that bends towards justice. It can’t happen here. Not once in our long history have we walked any path, anywhere on the face of the earth, where we have not […]
The Wickedness of Sodom: Why Should Avraham Care?
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After a hurricane, when drinking water may have been fouled, it takes only one-half a teaspoon of bleach to make eight gallons of fouled water potable. If so little chemical can purify so much water, how much more could one good soul… Why would Avraham extend himself to the extent he did to save Sodom? […]
Setting Limits: Good Judgment and Living in the World
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Noach, the man of the earth, debased himself and planted a vineyard. He drank of the wine and became a drunk, and he uncovered himself within his tent. – Bereishit 9:20-21 Rabbi Chaim of Sanz once asked some of his chassidim, “What would you do if you found a wallet filled with money?” He added that, […]
Rachel Imenu’s Heritage
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How does the Torah describe the death of Rachel Imeinu when it happens (Parshat Vayishlach)? The place name and juxtaposition to birth are both significant. How does Yaakov describe her death to Yosef (in Parshat Vayechi)? Why does Yaakov emphasize that he buried her בדרך – “on the road”? Download the mekorot here Recorded at OU […]
To Remember. To Forget.
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Forgetfulness is a form of freedom. – Kahlil Gibran Without memory, there is no culture. Without memory, there would be no civilization, no society, no future. – Elie Wiesel Each of us is granted two precious and seemingly contradictory gifts – memory and forgetfulness. Of these two, we often value memory more, for without memory, we simply do […]