Monday, September 1, 2014 Elul 6, 5774
CHOL HAMOED, OMER, Exodus 33:12-34:26
By:
Rabbi David Gutterman
You're probably tempted to sing the words right now as you read; it is, after all, a sonorous "spiritual of old." "Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, we are free at last." But let's recall that we, the Jewish people, wrote the original score. We say it; we pray it -- so it must be true. Pesach...
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TZAV, SHABBAT HAGADOL, Leviticus 6:1-8:36
By:
Rabbi David Gutterman
Historically, it's been suggested, rabbis waxed oratorical and preached to their congregations on only two Sabbaths of the year: Shabbat Shuva and Shabbat Hagadol -- the former right before Yom Kippur, the latter before Passover. (Is this what people mean when they say: "Rabbi, how I miss the good old days!") Why is this week called "The Great Shabbat"? The...
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VAYIKRA, Leviticus 1:1-5:26
By:
Rabbi Robert Rubin
This week we begin the third book of the Torah: Vayikra. The book's English name, Leviticus, reflects the important role of the tribe of Levi in the early days of our people. Particularly at that time, the Levites (and the priests, or Kohanim, who were one part of the Levi tribe) served in ongoing daily religious life. Their work centered...
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VAYAKHEL-PEKUDEI, Exodus 35:1-40:38
By:
Rabbi Alan Iser
The second part of this week's double portion, Vayakhel-Pekudei contains a mundane account of all the materials that went into the making of the Tabernacle. Our sages derive a profound lesson from the opening words of Pekudei: "These are the accounts of the Tabernacle which were rendered according to the commandment of Moses ... by the hand of Itamar." They...
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KI TISA, Exodus 30:11-34:35
By:
Rabbi David Gutterman
In the fascinating book Name Dropping , the late economist and perennial presidential adviser John Kenneth Galbraith tells the following story. President Lyndon Johnson was known to be a colorful man -- rude and charming, cunning and innocent, all at the same time. A former Johnson speechwriter once joked to Galbraith that "LBJ was seven of the most interesting people...
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