Friday, April 18, 2014 Nisan 18, 5774
By:
Rabbi Joshua Runyan
SHOFTIM, Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9 Not imitating the other nations of the world is a fundamental Judaic concept. The Torah forbids bodily mutilation as a foreign practice, as it does several specific hair styles and idolatrous rites. The Jewish people, instead, should remain unique, pious in thought as well as action. So it comes as a surprise when in this week's portion,...
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By:
Rabbi Danielle Stillman
RE'EH, Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17 Barry Schwartz argues in his book The Paradox of Choice that the key to happiness is having less choice. Americans are discontented exactly because they have too many choices! Just this afternoon, I stood in my local grocery store with my 4-year-old, watching as her mind and body attempted to chase after every desirable food in the...
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By:
Rabbi Howard A. Addison
EKEV, Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25 Recently I came across a website offering a list of reasons why our prayers go unanswered. Perhaps, claims the author, we've fallen out of fellowship with God, taken God's teachings lightly or have acted in ways that displease God. Our prayers might be prompted by unworthy material motives or we might not have fully confessed our sins...
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By:
Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell
VA'ETCHANAN, Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11 We've begun the book of Deuteronomy, Moses' final attempt to share his message of faith with the people Israel. As he anticipates his death, Moses looks back on the journey that he has shared with his contentious and beloved people. Moses' tutelage under Pharaoh, who was considered an earthbound god, prepared Moses for service to the Holy...
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By:
Rabbi Joshua Runyan
DEVARIM, Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22 More than 3,000 years ago, Jewish youth stood on the precipice. Triumphant in battle, they were about to enter the long-promised Land of Israel, but their leader, the man handpicked by the Almighty to transmit the Torah, had ascended the mountain to bid them farewell. Before them, across the Jordan River, lay fertile fields, towering peaks and...
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