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Transforming Our Past Into Prologue

Parshat Ha’azinu   Maya Angelou, with whom I was honored to share an afternoon and a meal nearly 30 years ago when we were both living...
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Finding Inner Peace a Goal of Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur is when we shine as Jews. It’s when our inner G-dliness unites with our outer self. It’s a time of true oneness,...
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Individuals Must Choose Their Role as a Link in the Long Chain of Jewish...

Parshat Nitzavim When I grew up, I spent every summer at URJ Camp Harlam, my summer home. I vividly remember driving through the gate and...
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Female Torah Scribe Part of a Small and Unique Sorority

Julie Seltzer is a female Torah scribe, or soferet. She is believed to be just the second soferet in the world to transcribe an...
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Torah Imparts Timeless Message That There’s Truly No Place Like Home

As Perry Como crooned so beautifully, there’s no place like home for the holidays. He might not have had Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur...
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Your Words Ought to Reflect the Feelings Present in Your Heart

Parshat Ki Teitzei We live in a talk-saturated world. Spoken, often shouted, words accompany, and sometimes bombard, us wherever we go. Announcements and pronouncements, analyses and...
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Systems Must Change to Accommodate Societal Shifts

The parshah contains several thematic sections: regulations regarding the judicial system and public officials (judges, kings, Levitical priests, prophets true and false); special aspects...
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Soften Your Heart to Open Your Hands

Two key phrases in this passage are “do not harden your heart” and “open your hand.” Parshat Re’eh In Parashat Re’eh we read, “If there is...
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Life as an Ongoing Thank-You Note

The ability to cultivate gratitude and the attentive mindfulness we must bring to the task can remind us of the blessings we encounter every...
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‘With All Your Heart and Soul’ and Single-Tasking

Kavvanah/intention is an effort to “guide and regulate the individual in his performance of interior mental practice, a mode of action hidden from the...