Re’eh 5782-2022

“Identifying a True Prophet”
(updated and revised from Re’eh 5764-2004)

Identifying and distinguishing a true prophet from a false prophet is rather difficult. It is particularly complicated because the Torah maintains that the prophecies and predictions of false prophets may come true, and that the message of even a true prophet may, at times, not be fulfilled. The issue of identifying true prophecy has been fraught with danger for the Jews, especially during the last 2000 years of Christian history.

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Va’etchanan 5782-2022

“Why the Sh’ma?”
(updated and revised from Va’etchanan 5763-2003)
The Sh'ma prayer is the central prayer that speaks of the acceptance of the dominion of G-d upon us. Two major questions come immediately to mind. Why do our rabbis speak of this text, calling it the acceptance of the "yoke of heaven," a phrase that is rather intimidating and daunting? Another significant troublesome question is the nature of the first line of the Shema. Why are we told to "love" the L-rd, with all our hearts, soul, and might? Shouldn't we be told to "believe" in the L-rd, our G-d, with all our heart, souls, and might?

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Vayeilech 5782-2021

“Appreciating our own Inner Worth”
(updated and revised from Vayeilech 5761-2001)

Unfortunately, there are many who feel themselves unworthy of G-d's forgiveness, or unworthy of participating in the communal contrition of the Jewish people. Judaism rejects that assumption, insisting that each and every soul is precious to G-d, and surely qualifies for Divine forgiveness.

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Tetzaveh 5781-2021

“The Korban Tamid--a Lesson in Consistency”
(updated and revised from Tetzaveh 5762-2002)

The Tamid, the perpetual offering, was brought every morning and afternoon of every day of the year. Unfortunately, we no longer have a Temple and can no longer offer sacrifices. All we have is prayer. Now we must show our consistency and faithfulness to G-d through our prayers.

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Passover II 5779-2019

“On the Seventh Day the Walls of Water Split”
(Revised and updated from Passover 5765-2005)

According to tradition, the Children of Israel marched through the Sea of Reeds (the Red Sea) on the seventh day of Passover. The Torah, in Exodus 14, declares twice that “the waters were a wall for them on their right and on their left.” This unusual repetition of the phrase begs elucidation, and, of course, there is much to learn from this repetition.

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Toledot 5776-2015

"Rebecca Inquires of G-d"

The Torah reports that Rebecca seeks an answer for her terrible pains of pregnancy by inquiring of G-d. Who does Rebecca seek and what does she find?

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