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Nitzavim (Standing) – Deuteronomy 29:9 – 30:20

This week’s portion includes Moses’ last speech to the nation before the final poem that is Chapter 32 and the blessings in Chapter 33. Chapter 30 is often referred to as the “Return” chapter, including, as it does, references to both a physical and spiritual return to God and the Land of Israel. But a close examination of the verses in this chapter reveals a confusing sequence of events.

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People in My Neighborhood: Meet Deborah

She always looks just right with her perfect poise, her slim figure, her coordinated hat, shoes and clothing.  She walks into our synagogue, her almost regal stature tempered by her warm smile and that special sparkle in the eye, as she greets everyone. Truth is, even when she’s dressed in a denim skirt and a […]

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We Must Rely on G-d Alone – September 2012

  The news is filled with one major issue these days — Iran!  The centrifuges continue to spin as Iran gets closer to full nuclear capability.  The US and Europe have tried sanctions with only limited success as China and Russia continue to refuse to join in the sanctions.  Ahmedinejad continues to make bold and […]

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Ki Tavo (When You Will Come) – Deuteronomy 26:1 – 29:8

There is a common joke among Jews that summarizes all of our Jewish holidays in one sentence: They tried to kill us, G-d saved us, let’s eat. It doesn’t quite apply to every holiday, but certainly Passover, Purim and Hanukkah fit the bill. And the statement certainly tells us a great deal about Jewish culture.

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Israel’s Destiny

As I read the news from Israel last week I was struck by two of the stories. The first was about Arabs who had vandalized the cars of those who were gathered at the Western Wall for prayers on Tisha B’Av. The second story was about Shmuel Greenbaum’s reaction to the loss of his wife […]

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Shoftim (Judges) – Deuteronomy 16:18 – 21:9

These verses set forth guidelines to be followed by the kings of Israel, to ensure their righteousness and the absence of corruption in their kingdoms. Although, we no longer have kings, our political leaders would do well to follow these rules.

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People in My Neighborhood: Meet David Cohen

Up until 20 years ago, I lived in America, a country which preaches, rigorously, a separation of church and state.  Prayers are kept out of public school classrooms and synagogues and religious education are funded privately, by those who are interested… those who find these things important. When I moved to Israel, one of the […]

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Re’eh (Behold) – Deuteronomy 11:26 – 16:17

We are often witness to the fact that the nations of the world hold the Jewish people and the State of Israel to a higher standard. Frankly, in most cases, those nations are not really interested in placing Israel on a higher pedestal, but creating a basis for criticism against Israel.

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