Words Give Life

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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

August 12, 2021  

prayer: Meaningful Connection

Prayer must be relevant to our lives; specifically, we must understand the relevancy of the words in prayer. The psalms, in particular, convey essential truths, and varied emotional elements, intrinsic to human nature. How do we connect with the words of written prayer in a prayerbook? What is the nature of heartfelt prayers in our own words?

August 6, 2021  

parashas Re’eh 5781

The children of Israel are an am segulah – a treasured people – unto the L-RD. According to Rashi, one reason for this spiritual status is because of the merit of our forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 

July 30, 2021  

parashas Eikev 5781

“Everything is in the hands of G-d, except for the fear of G-d.” – Berachos 33b

Yiras H’Shem (fear of G-d) is a major component of one’s relationship to G-d; fear, in the sense of awe, reverence, and respect. The quality of yiras H’Shem is what will determine the level of kedushah (holiness) in a person’s life.

 

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