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Beating the Branches

Beating the Branches

The Torah does not provide explicit reasons for every mitzvah (commandment) and, especially for the negative commandments, we do not have definitive explanations why the Torah prohibits wearing mixtures of wool and linen, eating meat with milk, etc. But for positive...
The Joy of Sukkot

The Joy of Sukkot

The awe and introspective contemplation of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur induce a state of spiritual awakening that allows one to truly enjoy and be happy on Sukkot, the festival called “zman simcha’sainu – the time of our joy.” There is a great...

Happy New Year

When the New Year arrives in America, the traditional greeting is “Happy New Year!” And it’s accompanied by music and dancing, cheering crowds, drunkenness, exploding balls atop Times Square, the New Year’s Eve party, and the hangover the...

Rosh Hashanah and Deepening Relationships

Followers of Rabbi Yisrael Salanter, founder of the the 19th Century movement of ethical revival known as the Mussar movement, rejected the familiar distinction between mitzvos between man and G-d and mitzvos between man and G-d. Rather they saw the two types of...

That Elul Place

The sound of the shofar reverberated in our synagogue this week as the month of Elul began. It signaled the approach of the Days of Awe and its attendant holidays only a few short weeks from now. In previous generations, devoid as they were from today’s...

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