Yom Kippur 5780-2019

“How does G-d Judge?”
(Updated and revised from Yom Kippur 5760-1999

We mortals need to be constantly aware that what may seem in our eyes as a trivial or insignificant transgression, may appear in G-d’s eyes as a very serious breach or violation. That’s the challenge of Teshuva.

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Nitzavim-Rosh Hashana 5779-2018

“Whatever Became of Sin?”

Parashat Nitzavim has been called “one of the greatest expositions on repentance in the Torah.” How appropriate it is to read these deeply inspiring words during the High Holy Day season.

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Emor 5772-2012

"Lessons from a Priest’s Wanton Daughter"

The bad habits that we see some of our children developing may not be due to the children’s own personal shortcomings, but rather a result of the failure of proper parental nurturing. The only way for the priests, parents, and children to become sanctified and remain sanctified is for parents to serve as sanctified examples for their children and their families.

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Rosh Hashana 5770-2009

"The Unexpected Joy of Rosh Hashanah"

As the new year approaches, the fate of the world hangs in the balance. Salvation or destruction may be determined at any moment. It seems as though a crushing weight is upon each individual, whose personal behavior may result in a collective blessing or curse. And, yet, Rosh Hashana is a day of great joy, because our loving Father in Heaven is always willing to forgive His children.

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Nitzavim 5765-2005

"The Hidden Things Belong to G-d"

Parashat Nitzavim contains one of the most enigmatic verses of the Torah, which states that the hidden things are for the Lord, our G-d, but the revealed things are for us and for our children forever, to carry out all the words of the Torah. In their efforts to clarify the meaning of this verse, our rabbis offer a number of cogent elucidations. One of the most moving explanations is that, when the final redemption comes, the Jews who had become so assimilated (hidden) among other peoples that their origins have become forgotten will be reunited (revealed) with the rest of the Jewish people, and restored to their status as beloved members of the Jewish nation.

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Bechukotai 5765-2005

"Achieving Peace and Security for the Jewish People"

Parashat Bechukotai pronounces the ultimate formula for achieving peace for the Jewish people. G-d declares: "Im bechukotai tay'lay'choo," if the Jewish people wish to attain peace and ultimate blessing, they must follow My decrees and observe My commandments and perform them. Security is a factor of the Jewish people's relationship with G-d.

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Yom Kippur 5760-1999

"How Does G-d Judge?"

Since we never know the value that the Divine "tribunal" ascribes to our deeds or misdeeds, we mortals need to be constantly aware that what may seem in our eyes as trivial or simple transgressions may appear in G-d's eyes as very serious breaches and violations. This "unknown factor" is one of the major challenges of sincere Teshuva (repentance).

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