Wednesday, July 23, 2014 Tammuz 25, 5774
By:
Rabbi Joshua Runyan
ROSH HASHANAH, Genesis 22:1-24 Here we are, celebrating, literally, the "head of the year." Just as the head directs the body, so, too, Rosh Hashanah and how we approach this auspicious holiday influences the entire year. We bless each other with good wishes for health and success, we eat sweet foods in the hope that we know no more bitterness,...
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By:
Rabbi Danielle Stillman
Nitzavim-Vayelek, Deuteronomy 29:9-31:30 In Nitzavim-Vayelek, the people gather together as Moses prepares to pass his leadership position on to Joshua. The Torah lists the different parts of society that are present: from the highest tribal leaders to strangers, from women and children to woodchoppers and water drawers. This extensive list implies the inclusion of the entire society. The people gather...
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By:
Rabbi Howard A. Addison
KI TAVO, Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8 Ki Tavo begins by recounting the Rite of the First Fruits. Once the Israelites had settled the Promised Land, each farmer would annually bring his fruits to the Temple. He thanked God for liberation from Egypt, for the land of Israel and for that year's bounty. The Talmud describes parades arriving weekly from all over Israel...
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By:
Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell
KI TETZE, Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19 A week ago, we marked the beginning of the month of Elul. Each day during this month of preparation for the Days of Awe is marked by the sounding of the shofar. Every year, these days challenge to rouse ourselves from the pleasures of summer, to return to the questions and reflection that will prepare us...
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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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