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Passover – Exodus 33 – 34

Parents are encouraged to do whatever they need to do to arouse their children’s curiosity. In some cases, they dress up as the ancient Israelites with a sack and a stick, and they march around the table until the children question this bizarre behavior. And then, the parents can respond, while quoting Scripture, how their forefathers left Egypt in a hurry, “their kneading troughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders.”

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Elections in Israel and America – January 10, 2012

Israeli politics are known for their volatility and unexpectedness. There have only been 6 Israeli governments which served their full term, the last one ending in 1988. The Knesset (Israeli Parliament) generally finds a reason to disband the government before the end of its term and call for full parliamentary elections. Usually, there is ongoing […]

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Har Bracha: Building and Growing

May 2010     Oodles of children scramble happily on the painted playgrounds and roll down the grassy slopes, their sweet voices echoing in the mountain air. Nearby, sprinklers water the vineyards and Yeshiva Bible students amble by, busily discussing points of Talmudic Law. This happy, thriving scene plays out on the breathtaking, windswept Har […]

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Meet Alon and Yakir

Road inside Alon On my first day visiting communities, I went to Alon, a community northeast of Jerusalem, along the Jericho Road.  Rabbi Danny Segal and Dikla Zenter met me outside the community in a large parking lot.  Rabbi Segal is the community rabbi and Dikla is the head of social services in the community.  […]

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Vayikra (And He (G-d) Called) – Leviticus 1:1 – 5:26

Vayikra (And He (G-d) Called) –  Leviticus 1:1 – 5:26 This week we begin reading the Book of Leviticus.  This book of the Torah is dedicated primarily to instructing us in the various sacrifices that are brought in the Tabernacle and, later on, in the Temple, as well as other instructions pertaining to the work […]

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Vayakhel/Pikudei (And He (Moses) Gathered/ Accounts) Exodus 35:1 – 40:38

The first verse in chapter 40 provides us with the date that the Tabernacle was completed — the first day of the first month, or the first of Nissan. Nissan is the month which begins the Biblical count of months and it falls at this time of year. It is also known as the month of the spring (Deuteronomy 16:1). It is not the month of Rosh HaShana

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People in My Neighborhood: Shalom

February 2012 He’s our car mechanic.  His garage is conveniently located in the Industrial Area right outside Karnei Shomron.  But Shalom is also my neighbor, his house on the block parallel to mine.  Shalom is an interesting personality.  When you go to drop off your car, you may get an earful of male chauvinism, with […]

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Reflections on Adar

The month of Adar always keeps me on an emotional roller coaster. Usually coinciding with the month of March, it is a natural time of happiness. The jolly, festive holiday of Purim falls in the middle of Adar, and for weeks beforehand, schools, kinder- gartens, synagogues, and entire neighborhoods enlist to join in the celebratory […]

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The Joy of Sharing Shabbat – February 12, 2013

As I write this newsletter, I am in Australia on what has become an annual February trip.  This is my third visit to this far away country and, as always, I so enjoy the people, the landscapes and the weather.  Although the news was full of terrible floods and wild fires in Australia before I […]

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