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Shabbat Shalom- Part 2

Lech Lecha (Go Forth) – Genesis 12:1 – 17:27

So begins this week’s Torah reading. And what a reading it is. If there was ever a “Zionist” Torah reading it’s this one. And each year, we are reminded that G-d chose Abraham out of all the people of the earth, and made him the father of our nation and the recipient of G-d’s promises for the Jewish people.

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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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