Vayechi 5768-2007

"The Struggle Over the Birthright"

It cannot be mere coincidence that in every single instance in the book of Genesis the firstborn child never emerges with the birthright. The Torah wishes to teach that it is not an accident of birth that determines one's stature, but rather personal merit and the quality of one's life.

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Yom Kippur 5767-2006

"The Poetry of Yom Kippur"

The ritual of the Yom Kippur Temple service is very rich indeed. It is described in great detail as part of the Yom Kippur liturgy known as the Avodah. The Avodah includes the ritual of the scapegoat in which a lottery determines the fate of two identical he-goats. One is sent to the wilderness, the other is sacrificed to G-d. This ritual is intended to convey to the people the important choices that each of us has laid out before us.

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