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Two Versions of the Moral Life
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The parsha of Naso contains the laws relating to the nazirite – an individual who undertook, usually for a limited period of time, to observe special rules of holiness and abstinence: not to drink wine or other intoxicants (including anything made from grapes), not to have his hair cut and not to defile himself by […]
The Sin of Asceticism
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There are times in a person’s life that holiness becomes a conscious goal, a state of mind and body that he or she actively pursues,a desideratum. However, the quest to achieve a higher plane of existence, to attain spiritual elevation,is not always a simple or straightforward path. The desire for spirituality can lead us along […]
Parshat Badmidbar & Shavuot 5775
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Bamidbar tells of an event that happened 11 months after the events reported by the Torah reading of shavuot. Both events took place in the Sinai wilderness.Message? Maybe. Review of the customs of Shavuot and lessons to be internalized.
The Decalogue: Direct From Hashem or Via Moshe?
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Introduction Unidentified Audience The verse introducing the Decalogue in Shemot 20 is the only case in the entire Torah in which Hashem speaks and His addressee is not identified: וַיְדַבֵּר אֱלֹהִים אֵת כָּל הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה לֵאמֹר. To whom did Hashem communicate the Decalogue? Did He speak directly to the nation, or did He deliver it only […]
Rodef Shalom: Peace, Peace You Shall Pursue
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We live in a world of turmoil – political, geopolitical, spiritual. Too often it seems that turmoil and strife are fundamental to our natures, but they are not. We want peace; we seek peace; we pray for peace – not because it is a hopeless dream, but because it is the gift God promises us. […]