Tazria-Metzorah-Yom Ha’atzmaut 5775-2015

“Finding the Silver Lining”

The ancient biblical affliction--Tzaraat, seems to convey the message that affliction and disease can at times be redemptive.

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Kee Tavo 5774-2014

“Finding Respite”

After the horrors of the Holocaust were made public, many Jews were under the impression that with the establishment of the State of Israel, its miraculous rebirth and development, the perfidious scourge of anti-Semitism would somehow abate and eventually vanish. For a while there was, what seemed to be, a universal sensitivity. But, only sixty years later, that sensitivity has vanished, and there is now a virulent outbreak of anti-Semitism in countless countries throughout the world, even on the streets of New York and Los Angeles.

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Shemini-Yom Hashoah 5769-2009

"Aaron's Response to Tragedy-a Lesson for Yom Hashoah"

On what should have been the most jubilant day of his life, Aaron suffers the tragic loss of two of his sons who bring a strange fire shortly after the Tabernacle is inaugurated. Despite these grievous losses, Aaron and his two remaining sons are determined to go on with the ceremony. It is the commitment to preserve Jewish life, and live as a Jew with great zeal and passion, as taught to us by the High Priest Aaron, that is, unquestionably, the most powerful and appropriate response to the Shoah.

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Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5766-2006

"Standing Idly By"

The double portions of Acharei Mot and Kedoshim contain almost one sixth of all the mitzvot in the Torah. The commandment found in parashat Kedoshim (Leviticus 19:16), not to stand by idly while the blood of our brother is shed, may not appear at first blush to be of great import. Yet, it is a fundamental principle that marks Judaism's significant departure from the jurisprudence systems of the entire world, indicating that a person's inaction can indeed be a significant and punishable violation.

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Mikeitz 5766-2005

"Marketing G-d by Living Example"

Too often in the history of Judaism the lesson of the sanctification of G-d's name has been taught by those who were required to give up their lives. There is unfortunately little opportunity to learn the lesson of Kiddush Hashem (sanctification of G-d's name) by living example. Yosef Hatzadik, Joseph the Righteous, is probably the first and most prominent example of one who sanctified G-d's name, and through whose actions and words was able to influence others to acknowledge G-d in their own lives.

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