Kee Tisah-Purim 5762-2002

"The Story of Esther--Making Choices for Jewish Destiny"

When Esther receives the report that Mordechai is leading a great mourning and wailing, she is thrown into a panic. Some commentators regard Esther's reaction as a personal failure on the Queen's part to rise to the challenge. In effect, Esther respond's to Mordechai's appeal by saying "Do you expect me to risk my life and compromise my lofty position for the Jewish people?" Mordechai's response to Esther strikes a sensitive chord. Despite her initial reluctance, Esther redeems herself, fulfills her mission brilliantly, and goes on to become one of the great heroic figures of Jewish history.

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Shemini 5760 – 2000

"Substance Abuse in Judaism"

The severe punishment meted out to the sons of Aaron leaves us with a powerful reason to carefully study the Jewish attitude towards intoxicants and drugs. Alcoholism and drug abuse is serious business, not something that can be ignored. Wine is a divine gift, and plays a key role in Judaism. Yet, we need to make certain that it is treated as a special gift and imbibed with respect.

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Tzav-Purim 5760 – 2000

"Remembering Amalek: A Contemporary View"

Jewish tradition looks upon those who seek to destroy the Jewish people as the heirs of the ancient Amalekites, the fierce nation that was the first to attack the people of Israel, especially the elderly, weak and the young after the exodus from Egypt. While remembering Amalek is important, rebuilding and guaranteeing the Jewish future is far more important.

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