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Living an Integrated Life
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Our L-rd and the L-rd of our fathers, rule over the entire universe in Your glory, be exalted over the entire land in Your splendor, reveal Yourself in the majestic grandeur of Your strength over all who dwell in Your inhabited world.  (Rosh HaShanah Amidah) I. The Festivals and Their Themes Each of our holidays […]
Be Happy!
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And you should rejoice in all the good that Hashem, your L-rd, has given you and your household – you and the Levi, and the convert who is among you.  (Sefer Devarim 26:11) I. Presenting the First-Fruit Parshat Ki Tavo discusses the Bikkurim – the first fruits.  The Torah commands us to bring the first […]
Even the Wicked have Rights
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If a man commits a sin for which he is sentenced to death, and he is put to death, you shall [then] hang him on a pole. But you shall not leave his body on the pole overnight. Rather, you shall bury him on that [same] day, for a hanging [human corpse] is a blasphemy […]
Idolatry and its Equivalents
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When you find in your midst, in one of your gates that Hashem, your L-rd, gives to you, a man or women who does that which is evil in the eyes of Hashem, your L-rd, to violate His covenant.  And he goes to serve other gods and to bow to them – to the sun, […]
Rethinking Torah Education (part three)
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In the past two editions of “Thoughts” we discussed Ramban’s – Nachmanides’ – assertion that we are commanded to recall Revelation.  He understands this commandment as an obligation to accept Revelation as a verifiable historical event.  In other words, we must “prove” for ourselves and our children that Revelation took place and that the Torah […]
Reconsidering Torah Education (part two)
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Read part one In the last edition of “Thoughts” we discussed Ramban’s – Nachmanides’ – assertion that we are commanded to recall Revelation.  He understands this commandment as an obligation to accept Revelation as a verifiable historical event.  In other words, we must “prove” for ourselves and our children that Revelation took place and that […]
Reconsidering Torah Education (part one)
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But beware and watch yourself very well, lest you forget the things that your eyes saw, and lest these things depart from your heart, all the days of your life.  And you shall make them known to your children and to your children’s children, the day you stood before Hashem your L-rd at Chorev, when […]
Moshe, the Master of all Prophets
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These are the words that Moshe spoke to all Israel across the Jordan, in the wilderness, on the plain, opposite the Reed Sea, and between Paran and between Tofel, and Lavan, and Chatzerot, and De-Zahav.  (Sefer Devarim 1:1) I. Sefer Devarim’s Treatment of Commandments Parshat Devarim begins the final book of the Torah.  There are […]
The Real Me
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The members of Reuven and Gad had an abundance of livestock very numerous and they saw the land of Yazer and the land of Gilad, and behold, the place was a place for livestock.  (Sefer Bamidbar 32:1) I. Reuven and Gad’s dialogue with Moshe The closing portion of Parshat Matot describes the circumstances leading to […]