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Hibur: Yes, we are our brothers’ keepers
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“They kidnapped me.” On June 12th those words, those horrible words, were whispered by Gilad Shaer into his cell phone. He had been hitch hiking in Gush Etzion with Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Yifrah. Three teenagers. Youngsters. Children. Our children. Hiking in our Judean Hills on their way home from yeshiva when Palestinian terrorists, members […]
Chesed: Acts of Loving-Kindness
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Imagine this scene: A gentleman, along in years, sits on the porch of his house on a warm, summer’s day. The sun is high in the sky. Perhaps the man, drowsy with the afternoon heat, begins to close his eyes for a brief nap. But a noise startles him. He looks up. A car coming […]
Jonah and ISIS
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Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness has come up before me. But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Jaffa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish… – Jonah 1:1-3 Is there a more singular, better known […]
We Forget Amalek at Our Peril
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We are incredible beings for so many reasons, perhaps none so much as our ability to embody so many seeming contradictions with such ease. We are both soul and flesh, corporeal and spirit. We are defined by our sense of self, by our individuality, by the “I” yet we are lost unless that “I” also […]
All Part of the Whole: The Value of Each Life
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Whosoever saves a single life, it is as if he saved an entire world. – Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5 A fundamental Jewish principle is that man is created “in the image of God” and therefore, possesses inherent dignity and worth. The rabbis teach that this inherent worth is the reason that man was created as an […]
What Makes Our Laws “Jewish?”
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Everyone has rules. Every society, culture, family and group. Having rules and laws hardly makes one distinct. From the ancient Laws of Hammurabi to English Common Law which, though not codified, has governed Britain since the twelfth century, laws have defined each and every society and culture on earth. Yet, though every people who ever […]
Masei and the Journey of Our Lives
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It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.  - Ernest Hemingway Imagine yourself on a commuter train. It is a train you journey each and every weekday, day in and day out. You board at the station nearest your home, following the same […]