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Shabbat Shalom

Shabbat Succot

This week we celebrate one of my favorite holidays… Succot, the Feast of Tabernacles. It is quite remarkable that the Torah readings discuss sacrifices brought to the Temple thousands of years ago.

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Rosh HaShanah (Genesis 21 – 22)

I find the Rosh HaShanah selections special and never fail to feel a thrill and a sense of awe as we read them each year. On the first day, we read the story of the birth of Isaac, beginning with the words, “And G-d visited Sarah as he had said” (Genesis 21:1).

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Ki Tavo (When You Will Come) – Deuteronomy 26:1 – 29:8

There is a common joke among Jews that summarizes all of our Jewish holidays in one sentence: They tried to kill us, G-d saved us, let’s eat. It doesn’t quite apply to every holiday, but certainly Passover, Purim and Hanukkah fit the bill. And the statement certainly tells us a great deal about Jewish culture.

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Shoftim (Judges) – Deuteronomy 16:18 – 21:9

These verses set forth guidelines to be followed by the kings of Israel, to ensure their righteousness and the absence of corruption in their kingdoms. Although, we no longer have kings, our political leaders would do well to follow these rules.

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Re’eh (Behold) – Deuteronomy 11:26 – 16:17

We are often witness to the fact that the nations of the world hold the Jewish people and the State of Israel to a higher standard. Frankly, in most cases, those nations are not really interested in placing Israel on a higher pedestal, but creating a basis for criticism against Israel.

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ACHAREI – MOT ( After the Death) Leviticus 16:1 – 18:30

Acharei – Mot Leviticus 16:1 – 18:30 We can influence our secular neighbors to embrace the Biblical values that have held our nation together for centuries. Chapter 18 of Leviticus is seemingly a list of dos and don’ts, not unlike many of the rules of purity and impurity listed throughout Leviticus. But at closer examination, […]

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Shabbat Shalom: Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) Leviticus 16

The Day of Atonement is, indeed, the holiest day of the year. The most important element of the holiday, however, is the atonement connected with it. “You shall be clean before the Lord from all your sins.” And again at the end of the section: “And this shall be a statute forever for you, that atonement may be made for the people of Israel once in the year because of all their sins.” (verse 34)

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