Chayei Sarah 5774-2013

"Yitzchak Establishes a Home with His New Wife"

The betrothal of Isaac and Rebecca can serve as a most valuable case study for finding a mate and establishing a successful home environment.

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Sukkot I 5767-2006

"Sukkot- The Festival of Joy"

The holiday of Sukkot, known as the "Festival of Joy" was renowned in ancient times for its most festive celebration of Simchat Beit Hashoeva, the festival of the water libation. Around the year 95 B.C.E. when the King of Judea, Alexander Yannai, attempted to change the ritual of water libation, he was pelted by the traditionalists, leading to a massacre of many of the celebrants. While even the minute detail of the Sukkot rituals were sacred to the ancients, most contemporary Jews fail to celebrate Sukkot in any manner, and know absolutely nothing of this very special joyous festival.

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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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