Shabbat Greetings

As we read this week’s Torah portion, Beshalach (Exodus 13:17-17:16), just when the Israelites think they have escaped Egypt, their oppressors chase after them. The situation looks grim and impossible to overcome.  The Israelites say sarcastically to Moses, “Were there not enough graves in Egypt that you had to take us out here to die in…

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Shabbat Greetings

I was reading an article written by Rabbi Noah Farkas of San Bernindo, CA who asked the questions: Who are we to each other? What do we have in common with you and me? What are we hoping to achieve? These questions keep rattling around in my mind as we progress through another challenging week…

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Shabbat Greetings

We have questioned the business of Pharaoh’s “hardening of the heart” from many different aspects over the years. But there is another entity that we haven’t looked at – the average Egyptians themselves! Did they know why all of these “plagues” were happening to them while Goshen remained unscathed? Were they aware of Pharaoh’s attitude?…

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Shabbat Greetings

There are a lot of movies that depict the events of this week’s Torah portion, Shemot (Exodus 1:1 – 6:1), so it might be the most famous portion of the entire Torah. The Ten Commandments and The Prince of Egypt tell the story of the birth of Moses, his vision of God at the Burning Bush, and his first appearance…

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Shabbat Greetings

A major feature of this week’s Torah portion, Vayechi (Genesis 47:28-50:26) is the world’s first recorded Ethical Will, as Jacob approaches the end of his life. For each of his sons, he has either advice or predictions. Our Rabbis, however, wonder about his treatment of Joseph’s sons. There are many explanations, but let’s look at the…

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Shabbat Greetings

Rarely in life are we given a chance to correct the mistakes of our youth. One of the marks of becoming an adult is learning to live with our past errors and striving to grow from them. Sometimes, though, we are able to try again and see whether or not our efforts have made a difference,…

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Shabbat Greetings

I begin with a story – a young boy was walking to meet his father and walked past a woman sitting on a bench and crying. He realized something was wrong and asked her if he could help. She said no and he started on his way, but something made him stop and turn around. It…

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Shabbat Greetings

This week’s Torah portion, Vayishlach (Genesis 32:4-36:43), we read, “Esau ran to greet him. He embraced him and, falling on his neck, he kissed him; and they wept.” (33:4) Torah readers who know the special trope marks will note in this week’s reading that there is one phrase inscribed in the parchment with diacritical dots…

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26 Elul 5781

September 3, 2021 This is the last Shabbat before Rosh Hashanah – the New Year. This week’s Torah portion, N’tazvim (Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20), states: “Concealed things are known to Adonai our God but revealed things are for us and our children forever, to apply all the provisions of this teaching.” (29:28) The older I get the more I fear…

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19 Elul 5781

August 27, 2021 When you enter the land and get settled, this week’s Torah portion, Ki Tavo (Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8) tells us, the most important thing to do, your first priority, is to bring an offering of gratitude.  “God brought us to this land, a land flowing with milk and honey.”(26:9) Then follows a long series…

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