Friday, October 24, 2014 Tishri 30, 5775
By:
Rabbi Danielle Stillman
Nitzavim-Vayelek, Deuteronomy 29:9-31:30 In Nitzavim-Vayelek, the people gather together as Moses prepares to pass his leadership position on to Joshua. The Torah lists the different parts of society that are present: from the highest tribal leaders to strangers, from women and children to woodchoppers and water drawers. This extensive list implies the inclusion of the entire society. The people gather...
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By:
Rabbi Howard A. Addison
KI TAVO, Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8 Ki Tavo begins by recounting the Rite of the First Fruits. Once the Israelites had settled the Promised Land, each farmer would annually bring his fruits to the Temple. He thanked God for liberation from Egypt, for the land of Israel and for that year's bounty. The Talmud describes parades arriving weekly from all over Israel...
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By:
Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell
KI TETZE, Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19 A week ago, we marked the beginning of the month of Elul. Each day during this month of preparation for the Days of Awe is marked by the sounding of the shofar. Every year, these days challenge to rouse ourselves from the pleasures of summer, to return to the questions and reflection that will prepare us...
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By:
Rabbi Joshua Runyan
SHOFTIM, Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9 Not imitating the other nations of the world is a fundamental Judaic concept. The Torah forbids bodily mutilation as a foreign practice, as it does several specific hair styles and idolatrous rites. The Jewish people, instead, should remain unique, pious in thought as well as action. So it comes as a surprise when in this week's portion,...
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By:
Rabbi Danielle Stillman
RE'EH, Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17 Barry Schwartz argues in his book The Paradox of Choice that the key to happiness is having less choice. Americans are discontented exactly because they have too many choices! Just this afternoon, I stood in my local grocery store with my 4-year-old, watching as her mind and body attempted to chase after every desirable food in the...
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