Words Give Life

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September 15, 2021  

Yom Kippur 5782

“Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity of my supplanters [heels] compasseth me about” (Psalm 49:6, JPS 1917 Tanach).

The "sins of my heels” refer to the breaking of lesser mitzvoth, that people, figuratively speaking, tend to trample upon, mistakenly thinking that they are insignificant.

September 11, 2021  

The Hidden Order of Things

motzei Shabbos: parashas Vayelech 5782

“And they shall say on that day, ‘Surely it is because our G-d is not in our midst that these evils have befallen us.’” – Deuteronomy 31:17, JPS 1985 Tanach

“They will be intelligent enough to conclude that all the troubles which suddenly overtook them must be due to G-d having deliberately left their midst.”

- Or HaChayim on Deuteronomy 31:17, sefaria.org

September 10, 2021  

Shabbat Shuvah - The Sabbath of Return 5782

“Turn Thou us unto Thee, O L-RD, and we shall be turned; renew our days as of old.”

– Lamentations 5:21, JPS 1917 Tanach

The L-RD would like us to return to the simplicity of faith, by looking towards Him in all things. “Trust in the L-RD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5, JPS 1985 Tanach).

September 6, 2021  

Rosh HaShannah 5782 - 2nd day

The Akeidah: Binding of Isaac

“And it came to pass after these things, that G-d tested Abraham, and said to him, Abraham; and he said, [Hineni] Behold, here I am.” – Genesis 22:1, JPS 1917 Tanach

 “Such is the answer of the pious: it is an expression of meekness and readiness.”

– Rashi, Midrash Tanchuma, Vayera 22, sefaria.org

September 6, 2021  

Rosh HaShannah 5782

Rosh HaShannah is a time of renewal. Through teshuvah (repentance) we prepare ourselves to face H’Shem: Avinu Malkeinu (Our Father, Our King) on the Day of Judgment for the New Year. Through proper reflection, and rooting out our sins well in advance of that day, we hope to begin the new year with the resolve to start anew.

 

September 2, 2021  

Thou Shalt Return

weekly Torah reading: parashas Nitzavim 5781

The promise of return to the Land of Israel includes a reassurance of teshuvah (repentance); in other words, that the Jewish people will be moved by H’Shem to do teshuvah.  The commandment to repent is phrased in the future tense, rather than the imperative command form, because G-d wanted it to be an assurance to the Jewish people that in due time we would repent.

August 27, 2021  

Bikurim (First Fruits)

parashas Ki Savo 5781

"And it shall be, when thou art come in unto the land which H'Shem thy G-d giveth thee for an inheritance, and dost possess it, and dwell therein; that thou shalt take of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which thou shalt bring in from thy land that H'Shem thy G-d giveth thee; and thou shalt put it in a basket and shalt go unto the place which HaShem thy G-d shall choose to cause His name to dwell there."

- Deuteronomy 26:1-2, JPS 1917 Tanach

August 21, 2021  

Memorable Moments

motzei Shabbos: parashas Ki Seitzei 5781

 “Remember [zachor] what the L-RD your G-d did to Miriam on the journey after you left Egypt.” – Deuteronomy 24:9, JPS 1985 Tanach

August 20, 2021  

Honest Weights and Measures

parashas Ki Seitzei 5781 - Honest Weights and Measures

“A perfect and just weight shalt thou have; a perfect and just measure shalt thou have; that thy days may be long upon the land which the L-RD thy G-d giveth thee.” – Deuteronomy 25:15, JPS 1917 Tanach

The Torah commands us that we should have perfect and honest weights and measures. This includes honesty and integrity within our very lives. 

August 16, 2021  

Preparing Ourselves

During the month of Elul, we are called to look past the surface level of ourselves, in order to gain an honest assessment of ourselves. Where can we start? In every moment, we have a starting point. That is to say, that we may start in the present moment

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