Oil Change

I just returned from taking my car for an oil change and safety inspection.  We do not only regularly inspect our cars, but, as someone who frequently flies, I happen to know (and am very happy that) the FAA inspects every plane on a regular basis. We do inspections all the time; cars, airplanes, fire detectors and computers. All our transportation methods and many other complex technologies get inspected regularly. One ...

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On Happiness

What is the meaning of happiness? How do we achieve it? It appears from this week’s Torah portion, Ki Tavoh, that happiness is a major value and indeed is looked at as a duty as well. The Torah tells us that one of the reasons for G-d punishing the Jewish people was that they did not serve Him with the appropriate amount of joy, Simcha. How do we understand Simcha? There ...

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Is Repentance a Torah Commandment?

“For this mitzvah is not far from you; it is not in heaven that you shall say ‘Who will ascend for us to the heavens...’” (Deuteronomy 30:11) Nachmanides states in his commentary that this verse refers to the positive commandment of repentance. He cites two verses as sources for this mitzvah: Deuteronomy 4:30 “...you shall return to the L-rd your G-d...”, and Deuteronomy 30:1, “And you shall return to your ...

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Hope and Optimism

It is customary to add a Psalm to our prayers during the month preceding Rosh Hashanah.  The Psalm is Chapter 27 and is one of most beautiful prayers in the book of Psalms. “A Psalm of David. The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life. Of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, my enemies and my adversaries, ...

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