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A New Year, A New Year of Relationship to Torah
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Shnayim mikra, v’echad Targum. Every week, to study the weekly parsha, twice in Hebrew and once with the Targum-translation. Once Again, and Again Once again, we are privileged to begin the Torah anew, and so it’s only fitting to reflect on an important halacha. The Talmud states, and the Shulchan Aruch codifies, that there is […]
Rosh Hashanah: Joy, Happiness and a Basket of Fruit
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So many are searching, desperately searching: For happiness. Today, in a world in which we are lacking so little, it seems that happiness is more elusive than ever. Bikkurim: A Historic Perspective So from where, truly, can we draw deep, real happiness in life? The parsha of Bikkurim holds the key. The Torah tells us […]
Husband and Wife: The Deepest Connection
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Nothing Like It The connection between a husband and a wife is breathtaking in its depth. The connection between a husband and a wife forms the most all encompassing and far-reaching of all human relationships. The connection between a husband and a wife occupies a place of exceptional holiness, and is the basis upon which […]
Shoftim and Elul: Within Reach of the Ultimate
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Teshuva, Ultimate Teshuva The Medrash tells us that the structure of the human body is five dimensional—Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama, Chaya, Yechida—and that each of these manifests in a different way in the individual, in life, and in the life of the nation of Israel. Nefesh and Ruach: The nefesh and ruach are enmeshed in the […]
Ani L’Dodi: I Am to My Beloved
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Seeing and Listening. Mind and Heart. I am to my beloved, and my beloved is to me. Seeing and Listening R’eh. See, I have placed before you today blessing and curse … See. Our parsha begins with seeing; with thinking, understanding, and contemplating. Last week’s parsha emphasized hearing, “And it will be when you will […]
Prayers: Answered and Otherwise
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If God is good, wants only our good, and is all-knowing, then why do we need to pray? Let’s Continue Our Discussion … Why, actually, do we need tefila? Do we need to update Hashem about what we might need? Certainly not. And if we truly believe in Hashem’spure goodness, omnipotence and omniscience, then wouldn’t the […]
Pray, and Then Pray Again
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Vaetchanan. And I emplored … Five hundred and fifteen. That’s the number of times, our sages tell us, that Moshe prayed to be allowed to enter the land of Israel. Prayers Unanswered Vaetchanan. And I emplored … Our sages tell us that if our prayers go unanswered, then we should pray again. But why? If […]
Shabbat Chazon. So Far, and So Near
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Churban. Utter destruction. And the kruvim in the Holy of Holies were locked in an embrace, signaling the deepest of connections between God and the Jewish nation. What Could That Mean? The sages in the Talmud tell us that when the kruvim, Cherubs, atop the Aron Kodesh, the holy Ark of the Covenant, are facing […]
Words, Just Words
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Last to Appear, First to Be Seen Experientially, the physical world seems to be solid, firm, and real. The less physical things are, like thoughts, emotions, and spirituality, the more ephemeral and elusive they seem. However, the truth is just the opposite. The Torah teaches that the more physical and tangible something is, the flimsier […]
Antimatter: Bilam, Moshe and Avraham
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Mirror Images of Reality Our world was created such that things contrast one another. One can know what something is by what it isn’t, by comparing and contrasting it with it’s opposite. Like good and evil, for example. Or, like Bilam and Moshe. Our sages see Bilam as standing in stark contrast to Moshe. They […]