Posts Tagged ‘ Peace ’

Sukkot – Finding Shelter in a Transient World

September 25, 2018
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Sukkot – Finding Shelter in a Transient World

Sukkot remembers that freedom came as the result of pitching tents over 14,600 days and honors the 43,000 meals prepared in the dessert. But more importantly Sukkot reminds us that God is everywhere and undermines the idolatry of rootedness. This doesn’t mean that home and hearth are bad values; rather it serves as a...
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Ki Tavo – Do Not Neglect Nor Transgress

August 28, 2018
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Ki Tavo – Do Not Neglect Nor Transgress

Listen to an audio version …lo avarti mi’mitzvoteycha v’lo sha’chachti “I have neither transgressed nor neglected any of your commandments” (Devarim 26:13). This is the pledge that God commanded the children of Israel to declare every third year after removing their tithe from their premises and having given it to the Levites and the...
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Matot – A Place of Refuge

July 11, 2018
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Matot – A Place of Refuge

This week’s Torah portion contains a theme that in the ancient world was peculiar to the religion of Israel – the compassion, care and grace of their patron God. A historically popular approach to theology is a bifurcation of the two Testimonies of Scripture.  According to this approach, the older testament is presented as a...
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Haftarah Nasso – Leaders We Deserve

May 24, 2018
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Haftarah Nasso – Leaders We Deserve

I certainly do not want to retell the story of Samson in detail. You know it. You’ve heard it before. You may have even seen or heard any number of dramatizations. Of course, there is the famous 1949 Cecille B. Demille film starring Victor Mature and Hedy Lamarr (that’s Hedy not Headly!). This version...
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Nasso – Bless is More

May 22, 2018
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Nasso – Bless is More

Listen to an audio version… This week’s parasha contains one of only two prescribed blessings in all of Torah, the Birkat Kohanim. This blessing is so familiar to us, it is part of the morning shacharit, and is traditionally chanted by the Kohanim on Yom Kippur. Parents also say it over children on Erev...
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Bechukotai – Peace Within and Without

May 10, 2018
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Bechukotai – Peace Within and Without

Listen to an audio version “…you will dwell securely in your land. I will provide peace in the land…” (Vayikra 26:5-6)   After the Torah guarantees that we will dwell in our land safely if we observe the mitzvot, it states redundantly, “I will provide peace in the land.” Some commentators explain that the...
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The Lamb of God; Dayenu

March 24, 2018
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The Lamb of God; Dayenu

Listen to an audio version At the each Passover Seder just prior to the second cup of wine we sing Dayenu (lit. It would have been enough) a song that recognizes each of God’s beneficent gifts to Israel. After the enumeration of each gift we respond by singing Dayenu! It would have been enough!...
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Vayakhel – Come Together

March 8, 2018
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Vayakhel – Come Together

Listen to an audio version We have a highly practical society that prides itself on efficiency. As a result we have gadgets that save time and labor, facilitate communication and raise our standard of living. Therefore we can watch an assortment of Hollywood movies in our living rooms or while waiting for a plane,...
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Tetzaveh – The Sweet Aroma of Prayer

February 22, 2018
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Tetzaveh – The Sweet Aroma of Prayer

Listen to an audio version I cannot recall ever smelling incense burning in shul. Such practices in my mind belonged categorically in Roman Catholic or Orthodox churches, or in Buddhist shrines. Most of my own experience of smelling burnt fragrances was in the dormitory during my college years when coeds would use them to...
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Light Over Might

December 14, 2017
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Light Over Might

Listen to an audio version One of the primary messages of Chanukah is to avoid assimilation at all costs. But how often do we hear that the Chanukah story is about religious freedom? As if any religion would have been OK, so long as everyone got to choose for him or herself. Is that...
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