Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5770-2010

"Loving Thy Neighbor"

The Torah's statement bidding the Jewish people to love one's neighbor as oneself is universally regarded as one of the greatest pronouncements of human morality. Nevertheless, it has been the subject of much vitriolic criticism.

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Bo 5769-2009

"It's Payback Time!"

In parashat Bo, the Torah states that the male firstling of every donkey must be redeemed with a lamb. If it is not redeemed, then it must be killed by breaking its neck. From this, Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch learns that, "He who selfishly refuses to redeem his donkey, is himself sentencing it [his possessions] to destruction." Are we now witnessing such a period in Jewish life? Is it because of our failure to use our possessions properly during the many years of abundance that we are witnessing the evaporation of massive amounts of Jewish wealth?

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Bo 5764-2004

"The More Things Change..."

In the last moments of their sojourn in the Egyptian land that held them in bondage for hundreds of years, the Jews are told to gather gold and silver from their former Egyptian masters. To the casual observer it appears that the Jews are vengefully looting Egypt. Perhaps, though, the fulfillment of this command represents the mental journey that the Jews must travel from slavery to freedom. The looting of Egypt and its repercussions, are felt to this day.

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