Haazinu-Sukkot 5779-2018

“The Challenges of Poverty and Wealth”

The confluent messages of parashat Haazinu and the festival of Sukkot both stress the Jews’ dependence upon the blessings of the Al-mighty.

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Rosh Hashana-Ha’azinu 5778-2017

“The Blame Game”

Life today, as in biblical times, is filled with blaming others for our own shortcomings. The High Holidays present us with a particularly propitious opportunity to correct that behavior by consciously acknowledging our own shortcomings.

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Haazinu/Sukkot 5777-2016

“Sukkot: Enveloping Israel in G-d’s Loving-kindness”

As an eagle hovers over its young to protect them, so does G-d Al-mighty hover over His people Israel, in love and with kindness, protecting them in His Sukkah from the howling winds of the wilderness, and the threats of Israel’s determined enemies.

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Haazinu-Sukkot 5776-2015

“The Sukkah In The Sky”

The powerful imagery of the eagle hovering over and protecting its young not only underscores G-d’s role as Israel’s constant protector, but also brings to mind how G-d protected the ancient Israelites by sheltering them in the special Sukkah huts in the wilderness, and continues to protect us today with His great “Sukkah in the Sky.”

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Haazinu-Rosh Hashana 5775-2014

“Invoking Heaven and Earth”

How does the humble, former-shepherd Moses have the audacity to call upon Heaven and Earth and enlist their services as witnesses to the words that he is about to speak?

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Haazinu-Rosh Hashana 5774-2013

"Jewish Normal, Is Not Very Normal"

We live in remarkable times, anomalous times, times that have no precedent in all of Jewish history. Our current experiences with relative peace and tranquility can hardly be called “Jewish normal.”

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Haazinu-Sukkot 5773-2012

"Yom Kippur: A Prelude to the Festival of Sukkot"

The four days between Yom Kippur and the festival of Sukkot are important transitional days. As often occurs, the parasha that precedes or follows a Jewish holiday dovetails thematically with the upcoming or recently passed festival. This week’s parasha, Haazinu, is no exception, confirming Yom Kippur as a most meaningful prelude to Sukkot.

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Haazinu-Sukkot 5766-2005

"When Life Revolves Around G-d"

The magnificent poetry of parashat Haazinu informs us that the People of Israel were the only nation created without a land. In this way, it was assured that G-d would be the people's primary influence, rather than allow the natural environment of the land to influence His people. So it is that in the midst of our abundant creature comforts, Sukkot comes to teach us a formidable lesson-- that we are never truly secure unless G-d is in the forefront of our minds, and a constant presence in our dwelling places.

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Haazinu 5765-2004

"Judging Others Favorably and its Impact on Our Own Judgment"

There are many factors that are taken into consideration when the Al-mighty brings us to judgment before the heavenly tribunal. If we judge other human beings favorably in our own human relationships, we can then argue before G-d that we too deserve to be judged favorably.

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Haazinu 5763-2002

"Anniversary of September 11th"

The fact that "9/11" occurred during the Ten Days of Penitence may have been G-d's way of urging us to be more optimistic and upbeat about our faith. Hopefully, the clouds will now begin to disperse and the sun will shine through from behind the vast frightening darkness. Perhaps the glow of redemption is at hand.

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Haazinu 5762-2001

“The Ten Days of Teshuva: A Propitious Time for Repentance”

Our rabbis say that the month of Tishrei is a propitious time for Teshuva, repentance. It is a time when G-d comes out into the “field” to meet us. G-d does not desire for anyone to die, but rather that the wicked will return from their evil ways and survive.

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Haazinu 5760-1999

"The Final Song"

The final song of Moses is intended to help the Jewish people remember the days of yore. The past is truly vital for Israel, as there is much to be learned from previous generations. Much pain and suffering can be avoided if only the future is approached through the wisdom of the past.

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