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Friday, January 21, 2022
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Divrei Torah - JewishLink

Behar-Bechukotai: Habit Power

Whenever my grandfather would visit us he would ask me to obtain the key for the local synagogue. As regular readers of this column know by now, my paternal grandfather was a man who utilized his every spare moment to study Torah. Rather than study at home, he preferred to study in a community beit midrash, or study hall, and so he

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Parshat Emor: Introvert/Extrovert

Although many of his adherents deny it, he definitely had an anti-Semitic streak and was at least, for a time, sympathetic to the Nazi cause. Yet he was one of the major psychological theorists of the 20 thcentury, and I personally have found his insights into the human mind both fascinating and practical.

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Good and Religious

It is a debate that goes back to the time of Plato. I have personally been discussing this issue for much of my life, particularly in my conversations with colleagues in the field of psychotherapy. It can even be argued that this debate has its origin in one of the two Torah portions we read this week, Acharei Mot/Kedoshim

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Rabbi’s Musings and Amusings—To Build and to Maintain

Although it’s always sad when a Yom Tov ends, there was always something exciting about Motzei Pesach. As soon as we finished putting away all of the Pesach dishes, cutlery, tablecloths, haggadahs, etc. we excitedly ripped the tinfoil off the counters, and cut the bows tied around the handles on the chometz shelves. Within a few minutes

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Yeast Rises and So Do We All

From the first time I ever baked challah, I felt an instant connection—from the physical way of forming the dough to the ultimate spiritual realm of connecting to a higher purpose. There are very few other ways in Judaism that I truly can say I feel deeply connected in a very overpowering way. I have been making challah on and off for a

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A Time for Silence, a Time for Speech

He did most of his writing and public speaking almost exactly 100 years ago. He had no secular education, and it is doubtful that he even read the newspapers of his day. Nevertheless, he had insights into the problems of his era that were astounding, even prophetic.

His diagnosis of the ills of the early

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Parsha Shemini: “The Stork and the Heron”

When children once inquired about where babies come from, they were told that the stork brought them.

The stork is a migratory bird that was very familiar to people living in central Europe. The stork would suddenly, almost mysteriously, appear in the spring after a long absence during the cold winter.

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“Imagine That!”

There was a time when I would only go out of my way to listen to speakers who were older and more experienced than I. Recently, however, I have changed my preferences and have begun to seek out speakers, rabbis and teachers, who are young and relatively inexperienced. I find their ideas fresh and often very much on the mark. After all, they

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Leaning for Freedom

The Seder Leil Pesach is quite possibly one of the most symbolic activities of the Jewish year. Every action, every step, has a purpose and a message, and even our most bizarre and most difficult-to-explain traditions are done to fulfill the passuk of “ki yishalcha bincha…” (“when your son will ask... ”) by making the evening so

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The Victorious Victim

I always experience a sense of excitement when I begin a new book. I am convinced that most avid readers feel the same way. This Shabbat gives us an opportunity to experience that excitement as we begin a new book, the book of Leviticus, and Parshat Vayikra.

The book, or

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Politics & Parsha: Coincidentally Speaking

Vayikra—and God called to Moses. That’s what it’s supposed to say.

Yet every Torah scroll in the world has the final letter scribbled in as a seeming afterthought. Why? Because Moses thought it unseemly to write about himself that God called to him. Rather, he wanted to say, Vayikar, and it

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Parshat Vayikra: “The Victorious Victim”

I always experience a sense of excitement when I begin a new book. I am convinced that most avid readers feel the same way. This Shabbat gives us an opportunity to experience that excitement as we begin a new book, the book of Leviticus, and Parshat Vayikra.

The book, or

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