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Ki Tavo – Don’t Be A Basket Case

Words are for a reason. Nothing in the Torah is superfluous or incredibly obvious. So when I notice the repeated use of a word that tells me something rather silly, I take that as a challenge to find the deeper meaning.

This week’s Torah portion, ”Ki Tavo”, starts out by describing the laws of “Bikkurim”, which are the laws of bringing the first fruits to the Priests in the Temple. But the…

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The Power of “No”

I like to have guests at my Shabbat table, and depending on the themes of the weekly Torah portions, the table discussions can get a little heated. If you are apt to read the Torah in order to be offended, to find evidence of misogyny, and/or general “political incorrectness”, then welcome to this week’s Torah portion, “Ki Teitzei”.

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Re’eh: Choosing to See

I sign a lot of petitions online. Yesterday, I signed a petition – again – to demand the release of the 200-plus kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls, amidst the latest reports that they are now being sold into slavery for 12 bucks each. The premise is…

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The Purpose of Israel (Parshat Mattot)

The Purpose of Israel (Parshat Mattot) By Hanna Perlberger “Purpose” and “Vision”. These are two distinct concepts, yet they are often confused. To live a life of purpose, you have to know what your purpose is, what your mission statement is. Your purpose is your core foundation, your reason for being, why you were created.

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Pinchas Revisited: The Two Faces of Peace

Monday night, my 16 year-old daughter embarked on a 5-week program to Israel, a trip that we have planned for, anticipated and envisioned since her Bat Mitzvah. Complying with the “1 Piece Of Luggage Weighing 50 lbs. Rule”, we prioritized, took things out and added them back in, trying to get the “right”.