G-d does not need our worship. He does not need for us to build Him a house. G-d wants us to build that house so that it can be an effective tool for us to come close to G-d. May we never lose our ability to distinguish between the medium and the ultimate goal, between the vehicles of our faith and faith itself.
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.
Perhaps we are the generation who will, finally, put an end to anti-Semitism, to hatred within the Jewish people, to intolerance and bigotry. Perhaps we will be the ones leading by example, teaching others how to counteract baseless hatred and come together in love. Perhaps we will be the ones to build the Third and final Temple. Perhaps we can bring an end to the loss. Perhaps.
As I write this newsletter, we have just learned that the IDF has launched a military campaign to identify and destroy a series of tunnels along Israel’s northern border that have been dug by Hezbollah to enable them to invade Israel and wreak terror and destruction. We must constantly be vigilant against ongoing threats to our lives and our very existence as a nation.
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)
August 1, 2017 By: Sondra Baras Today is the 9th of Av, the day according to the Hebrew calendar that commemorates the destruction of both Temples in Jerusalem: Solomon’s Temple and Herod’s Temple (which was a rebuilt version of the earlier Temple of Ezra and Nehemiah). For centuries, this date marked the terrible fate that … Read more
Yesterday was a fast day, the 17th of the Hebrew month of Tammuz, which ushers in a 3-week mourning period for the first and second temples, thousands of years ago. Our sages have long laid the blame for the destruction of the Second Temple and the subsequent exile from the land, in the first and … Read more