Person to Person

The Ten Commandments were inscribed on two tablets, on the first tablet, were five statements about the relationship between a person and his or her creator (God and  parents).  The second five focus on the relationship between a person and his or her peers. The design of the tablets teaches us, that in order to be complete, people must cultivate proper relationships with their peers just as much as they ...

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The Ties That Bind

As different as the Super Bowl and the Siyum Hashas were, they nevertheless shared one thing in common: The desire of the human for connection and unity.  It is our belief that since the human soul was created with a similarity to Hashem and with the obligation to increase and cultivate that similarity, it therefore seeks out Oneness.  Hashem, as the Shema states, is One – He is uniquely one, ...

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Giving a Donation to Yourself

We are now in the month of Shevat and approaching the onset of spring, heralded by TuBishvat.   I would like to discuss some of the unique mitzvot that apply in the land of Israel. Many of the various tithes and agricultural taxes follow the seven cycle of the the Sabbbatical year, Shemitta.  In the seventh year of the agricultural cycle, Shmittah, no new crops are planted and only maintenance work is ...

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What Does the Exodus Have to Do With It?

Usually, we classify the mitzvot, commandments, of the Torah into commandments that pertain to our relationship with Hashem and commandments that pertain to our relationship with other people. There are some who had a third category, the commandments that govern the relationship between body and soul, in other relationship with the self. When we think about the commandment to remember the Exodus, we would be inclined to define it as being ...

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Divine Destiny and Egyptian Guilt

One of the famous questions that is asked regarding the Exodus from Egypt and the whole issue of the slavery of the Jews in Egypt is that, indeed G-d had actually told Abraham that his children would be slaves in a foreign land, he predicted the exile, He said the Jews would be enslaved. If so, the commentaries ask, then the Egyptians should not get punished, because they were fulfilling ...

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