Terumah 5775-2015

“The Sanctity of the Synagogue”

The great devotion that was required when building the Mishkan, the Tabernacle, and, in later years, the construction of the Beit Hamikdash, the holy Temples in Jerusalem, applies also to the sanctity of contemporary synagogues and houses of study.

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Va’etchanan 5772-2012

"The Magic of the Mezuzah"

In this week’s parasha, parashat Va’etchanan, we encounter the first of two textual references to the mitzvah of mezuzah that are found in the Torah. The mezuzah is one of the most widely known rituals of Judaism. Among other purposes, it serves to strengthen Jewish identity.

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Re’eh 5765-2005

"The Sanctity of Land and its Implications"

In parashat Re’eh, we find a number of verses underscoring the sanctity of the Land of Israel. Because of the land’s sanctity, the Jewish people are required to wipe out all vestiges of idolatry. They are also enjoined not to do so to the Lord, their G-d. From this the rabbis deduce the absolute sanctity of the Temple and of G-d’s name. The prohibition of violating the sanctity of holy places has contemporary ramifications with regard to the evacuation of the synagogues in Gush Katif.

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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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