Friendly Criticism- Devarim 5781

The Midrash (Devarim Rabbah, Parashah 1) assumes that the word “devarim” does not refer to ordinary words but to words of rebuke. Even with this assumption, Rabbi Aha, the son of Rabbi Hanina (Section 4), notes that a question still lingers. Moses speaks the “devarim”...

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Daily Choices – Re’eh 5780

In his landmark English commentary on the Torah, Rabbi Dr. Joseph H. Hertz explains that when Moses say that “I have set before you this day a blessing and a curse” (Deuteronomy 11:26), he means that “Both as individuals and a nation they were endowed with free-will,...

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The Whole Journey – Ekev 5780

Memory is strange. In one way, memory is, as James Barrie wrote, God’s gift to us that we might have roses in December. In another way, memory is like an unreliable friend: failing us when needed most. Sometimes a good memory can avert disaster. Sometimes a good...

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Hopefulness – Devarim 5780

The opening chapters of the book of Deuteronomy are always read in the synagogue on the Shabbat immediately preceding Tish’a B’Av (the Ninth day of Hebrew month Av), the saddest day of the Jewish year. It was on the Ninth of Av that the scouts returned with an...

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Words to Live By

What lies behind you and what lies ahead of you pales in comparison to what lies inside you.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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