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Come Up to Learn, Come Up to Inspire
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“Be what you would have your pupils be. All other teaching is unblessed mockery and apery.” – Thomas Carlyle When God commanded Moshe to instruct Aaron regarding the proper method of lighting the Menorah, the Torah records that, “Aaron did that, lighting the lamps to illuminate the Menorah, as God commanded Moshe.” What a strange […]
Every Grain of Sand
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…anyone who kills one soul of Israel is considered as if he has killed an entire world; And anyone who sustains one soul of Israel is considered as if he has sustained an entire world – Talmud Bavli, Sanhedrin 37B The vastness of the world around us can be overwhelming.  We think of the six […]
Parshat Bechukotai: Once is Not Enough
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We no sooner read the last pesukim of Devarim on Simchat Torah, concluding the public reading of Torah, that we turn our attention to the very first pesukim of Breishit and start the cycle of reading and re-reading Torah over again.  Just as we had the year before, we once again begin to read the […]
A Simple Task, a Menial Task? A Mitzvah
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A simple, even mundane task – a chore!  We take care of such a task often begrudgingly, sometimes unconsciously, occasionally with annoyance.  Such a task so often takes us away from the important things we must do, doesn’t it? Doing the dishes, making the bed, sweeping the floors, changing diapers, taking out the garbage… oh […]
Details…
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Every man’s life ends the same way.  It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another. – Ernest Hemingway Imagine how Hollywood would film the moment when Shemot closes. There stands a people who, having been redeemed from slavery had come into the desert to […]
Are We What We Wear?
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When a celebrity made her entrance at an awards show a few years ago wearing a dress made of raw beef it was disturbing, shocking and confusing. Some looked on in fascination. Others turned away in horror. Why would anyone do such a thing unless just for shock value? When she appeared on a talk […]
Student. Scholar.
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Not long ago, a prominent matchmaker replied to a request for shidduchim by writing that she has many, many wonderful young ladies looking for a successful match. What she was lacking, she went on to say, was some young gentlementches. I was surprised to learn about this. The community was not lacking for young men […]
There Are No “Alternative Facts”
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Such an odd sequence, to pledge to “do” before hearing what it is that you are to do!  When a people makes such a pledge before a king or a tyrant, the only promise that will ensue is their own slavery.  There is only one leader before whom such a pledge should ever be undertaken […]
To Him Who is Prepared
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Before anything else, preparation is the key to success – Alexander Graham Bell   Dayeinu! Had He brought us to Mount Sinai, And not given us the Torah, It would have been enough for us! * * * There is an old Chinese proverb that states, “May you live in interesting times.”  On their face, […]