Kee Tavo 5773-2013

"Not Rushing to Judgment"

There are usually two sides to every story. We must always listen to, and carefully analyze, both sides, before jumping to what may be incorrect conclusions.

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Tzav 5765-2005

"Do Sacrifices Have Any Relevance for Us Today?"

Our rabbis ask if the ancient sacrificial rituals have any relevance for us today. They respond by saying that both prayer and Torah study are meaningful contemporary substitutes for sacrifices, especially if we pray and study with full-hearted enthusiasm and proper awareness. If we do so, it is considered as if we have rebuilt the Temple and restored the altar to its ancient place of glory.

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Eikev 5762-2002

"Worshiping G-d With All One's Heart"

In this week's parasha we read the verse advising worshipers to pray to G-d with "all their heart." If that's the case, we need spontaneous and emotional prayer, rather than traditional Jewish prayer's fixed and rigid structure. Jewish prayer seems to be bound by so many rules that there is hardly an opportunity for worshipers to express their own personal feelings and needs. And yet, it is the structure and the rigor of the traditional prayer formula that makes certain that our prayers do not become self-centered and entirely focused on only our own needs and desires.

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