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Insights Into Torah and Contemporary Life
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WHEN THE KING IS IN THE FIELD (Parshat Nitzavim - Chodesh Elul)
During the month of Elul, "HaMelech ba'sadeh", the King is in the field; God is looking to engage with us. Thoughts on developing an informal relationship with God, which will positively affect how we enter His palace during Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur.
Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander12 ViewsSeptember 20, 2022Yom Kippur,Rosh Hashanah,Elul
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INSPIRATION, EMPOWERMENT AND A STOLEN SHOFAR (Parshat Ki Tavo)
Why, according to halakha, can a stolen shofar be used to fulfill the mitzvah of hearing the voice of the shofar, but not from a legally-owned shofar sounded by someone who is practicing from it on Rosh Hashana? Thoughts on recognizing the stolen shofar within us.
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PURIM IN ELUL: CREATING A LOVING ENGAGEMENT WITH GOD (Chodesh Elul / Parshat Ki Teitze)
The Hebrew month before Rosh Hashana is called Elul. What does this word mean? How does it impact the activities in which we must engage in preparation for High Holidays? How do we create an authentic loving engagement with God? In tribute to Dr. Dodi Tobin z"l.
Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander16 ViewsSeptember 7, 2022Elul
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JUDAISM'S VIEWS OF GOVERNMENT: DEMOCRACY OR MONARCHY? (Parshat Shoftim)
Churchill said that democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others that have been tried. What does Judaism have to say about government? How does it factor in the best interest of the public?
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WHEN THE EARTHLY JERUSALEM MIRRORS ITS HEAVENLY PARTNER (Parshat Devarim / Shabbat Chazon)
Jerusalem is alive and flourishing in our generation! Yet we still have the responsibility to fast on Tisha B'Av. Why is this? In preparation for Tisha b'Av, join me in reflecting on bridging the gap between Yerushalayim shel Matah and Yerushalayim shel Ma'alah.
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MISHNEH TORAH: THE ROLE OF HUMANKIND IN THE WRITINGS OF GOD (Parshat Re'eh)
Why is Sefer Devarim also called "Mishneh Torah"? Nachmanides makes a suggestion which the Talmud and Kabbalists seem to reject. Instead, they explore two paradigms of God-speak, one of which features a role for humankind, guaranteeing the eternality of Torah.
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THE SECOND TABLETS: BUILDING THE NEXT STEP IN OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD (Parshat Ekev)
Any relationship in which one participant is unengaged is doomed to fail. Even the relationship between God and the Jewish People fails if we are passive. For this reason the First Luchot are shattered, while the Second Luchot are eternal. My thoughts on Parshat Ekev.
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THE POWER OF A WHISPER (Parshat Va'etchanan)
Twice a day, we recite the Shema in a manner that is inconsistent with the way in which it appears in Parshat Va'etchanan. Together, let's learn about this deviation and the powerful message that it whispers to us daily and that it emphasizes on Shabbat Nachamu.
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