In this week’s Torah portion, Lech Lecha, we are introduced to the personality and philosophy of our patriarch, Avraham Avinu. Although he was a great teacher and had many followers, he is not known as “Avraham our teacher.” Instead, he is known to us as the model of true חסד, acts of loving kindness. The knowledge of God attained in his quest for truth changed the internal direction of his soul.
This week’s parsha, parshat Noach, reads like one of the great novels of all time, only this story is true. Noach is the man who literally saved the world.
Rosh Hashanah begins at sunset on Monday evening. Rosh Hashanah initiates the 10 Days of Awe that end on Yom Kippur. During this time every person in the world has the opportunity to reestablish his or her relationship with God.
When we think of the word “confession,” we immediately associate with the process of admitting wrong behavior–a verbal admission of wrongdoing. A verbal confession alone is worthless without any accompanying sincerity, resolve, and change.
Tucked away at the end of this week’s Torah reading, are the laws concerning fair weights and measures. Here the Torah contrasts the reward for those having honest weights and measures and God’s displeasure with those who don’t.
In Pirkei Avot, Ethics of Our Fathers, we come across a curious statement. “…and the one who talks excessively brings on sin.” (Avot 1:17). What does this mean?