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Dvar Torah

Heart and Soul

Heart and Soul

This Shabbat is the last Shabbat of the current Jewish calendar year. As our thoughts naturally turn towards reflection on our past year and how we can improve in the coming year, the Torah portions this Shabbat prod us toward our goal.

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One for All and All for One

One for All and All for One

In this week’s Torah reading, Parashat Ki Tavo, Moshe tells the people, “Today, this day, Hashem your God commands you to perform these decrees and statutes, and you shall observe and perform them with all your heart and with all your soul.” But weren’t the Israelites commanded to perform the mitzvot 40 years earlier at Mount Sinai? Click to find out the answer.

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What’s Not Mentioned at the Seder but Should Be

What’s Not Mentioned at the Seder but Should Be

Tucked away at the end of this week’s Torah reading, Parshat Ki Teitze, are the laws concerning fair weights and measures (Devarim 25: 13-16). As is true for other aspects relating to societal justice, the laws were expounded just prior to the Israelites’ entry into Canaan. No longer were the people simply individuals with a shared religion. They were becoming something new, the Nation of Israel in the Land of Israel.

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Authority in our Jewish Society

Authority in our Jewish Society

What is Judaism’s perspective on governance? While there is a Talmudic debate whether appointing a king is an obligatory mitzvah or optional, everyone agrees the Torah places limitations on a king’s power.

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Back to School: The Value of Learning

Back to School: The Value of Learning

Each morning before we begin our prayers, we recite a well-known Mishna that lists many mitzvot including honoring parents, visiting the sick, providing for a bride, attending to the dead, and other acts of kindness. However the Mishna concludes with, “… and the study of Torah is equivalent to all of them.” What did the Sages intend in concluding the Mishna in this way?

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