The People of the Book

As we begin the cycle of reading and studying the Torah once again from Bereshit, Genesis, I believe that it is appropriate to focus on the commandment of Torah study.  One of the hallmarks of Jewish life throughout the ages has been a passion for study.  This characteristic is so marked that for centuries we have been identified as the “People of the Book.” Unlike other religions and cultures, Judaism ...

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God Bless America

Abraham’s relationship with God was rooted in a covenant, an agreement between two parties, each having obligations toward the other.  Abraham and his descendants were obligated to practice circumcision, kindness and justice and to have faith in God.  God in turn promised that Abraham’s descendants would maintain a special relationship with Him.  They would be given the Land of Israel and would be a “blessing to all nations of the ...

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Shabbat of Peace

I did a lot of traveling over summer – I was in Canada, South Africa, South Korea and Japan.  It was incredibly helpful and convenient to my phone with me.  I was able to be in contact with the other people in the group with whom I was traveling; I was able to be in contact with my family, and the office.  I was able to book hotels and confirm ...

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New Moon, New Month, New Festival

This week we will be celebrating the first Rosh Chodesh, New Month, of the new year. The concepts and lessons contained in the Jewish calendar are so central to our belief that it is necessary to teach and emphasize them regularly.  One of the ways in which Jewish tradition makes us aware of the cycle of the calendar and brings home its messages is by celebrating every new moon, Rosh ...

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Fall and Winter

I am here in New Jersey, getting colder and being more windblown as fall is in full fling and winter approaches. Winter gets very bad press in general. You know, people talk about someone reaching the winter of his days, in other words, he is shriveling up and dying. Winter is the opposite of summer, time of action and time of fun, time of going to the beach and amusement ...

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