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Rabbi's Weekly Message

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Perashat Messora 5779

Friday, April 12, 2019 Author: Rabbi Shlomo Farhi

This week the whole world had their eyes on an epic mission. Israel was aiming to land on the moon with its Beresheet spacecraft. Named for the first book of the Torah, Beresheet means The Beginning. At a fraction of the cost of other missions, Israel's mission to the moon would have meant an incredible achievement for the little country that could. Landing on the moon would have meant we were only the fourth country to do so, and that we were much closer to being larger than the world we live in. Live streaming the event meant that everyone could watch together as the Jewish Nation was poised to, yet again, break the records and expectations of the world. We held our breath as it came closer, closer and closer to the moon. In those last moments Beresheet lost its connection to Mission Control. They frantically switched it off and back on, but by then their time was almost up...

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Perashat Tazria 5779

Friday, April 05, 2019 Author: Rabbi Shlomo Farhi

The two Parshiyot that lie ahead of us deal with the ins and outs of Sara'at. Commonly mistranslated as leprosy, Sara'at was actually a special spiritual malady that occurred when people of that time were speaking Lashon Hara excessively, or when they were exceedingly stingy. ...

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Perashat Shemini 5779

Friday, March 29, 2019 Author: Rabbi Shlomo Farhi

Nadav and Abihu are the two sons of Aharon who are punished in this week's perasha. We know that in Jewish thought a person's name is a window into understanding both their positive and negative powers. How is it that someone whose very name, Nadav, meaning giving and generosity, could have made the mistakes he did? His brother's name, Abihu, means "He is my father". Sounds beautiful. ...

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Perashat Vayikra 5779

Friday, March 15, 2019 Author: Rabbi Shlomo Farhi

The book of Vayikra deals with an esoteric realm of Judaism, the realm of korbanot, or sacrifices. The laws governing korbanot are complicated and nuanced. Interestingly enough, we are not introduced to the concept of korbanot, their lofty meaning or any of the things you should do first. We begin with the first word uttered in the entire sequence of laws, אדם. ...

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Perashat Pekudei 5779

Friday, March 08, 2019 Author: Rabbi Shlomo Farhi

Adar is the month of pure Joy! Meshenichnas Adar Marbim Besimcha! When Adar arrives we expand our happiness! Our Chachamim teach us that this month is a fortuitous time, a time of excellent mazal for the Jewish people. It strikes me as interesting that we read the story of Purim with its dangerous drama in this month! Granted there was a happy ending, but that doesn't discount the fact that until such time that the miracle happens we are caught in this terrible situation with death waiting right around the corner! That doesn't sound so joyful, does it?...

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Perashat Vayakhel 5779

Friday, March 01, 2019 Author: Rabbi Shlomo Farhi

There is no Paradise. Lest you think I am denying the existence of Gan Eden, rest assured, I am not. I am talking about Paradise, California. It was ravaged by the "Camp Fire" in November this year, a wildfire that was so devastating it killed 85 people and destroyed roughly 19,000 structures over 150,000 acres. Paradise is pretty much destroyed. ...

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Perashat Ki Tissa 5779

Friday, February 22, 2019 Author: Rabbi Shlomo Farhi

Funambulism. What a great word. It means tightrope walking. Leaders, parents, influencers of all types and stripes are those who see the wire, even when it's not so clearly visible. The Torah tells us that Moshe returns from on high and something is different. He doesn't know it yet, but his face is shining like the sun from speaking with Hashem. The Jewish people see the blinding countenance of their leader, ablaze with holiness and light, and they are afraid. ...

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Perashat Tessaveh 5779

Friday, February 15, 2019 Author: Rabbi Shlomo Farhi

Opportunity is dead. At least that's what NASA is telling us. 15 years ago on January 25, 2004, a little rover landed on Mars. It was called Opportunity. The rover was built for a 90-day mission to explore that reddish dot in our night sky for signs of life or habitability. Somehow that 90-day mission would stretch into 15 years. ...

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Perashat Terumah 5779

Friday, February 08, 2019 Author: Rabbi Shlomo Farhi

Most of us think that one gives with their hands. However, that is incorrect; we actually give with our hearts. There are so many problems in our world, and so many people who are hurting. One might ask why Hashem doesn't just solve the problems Himself? He certainly has the means to take care of the poor! ...

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Perashat Mishpatim 5779

Friday, February 01, 2019 Author: Rabbi Shlomo Farhi

אִם־חָבֹ֥ל תַּחְבֹּ֖ל שַׂלְמַ֣ת רֵעֶ֑ךָ עַד־בֹּ֥א הַשֶּׁ֖מֶשׁ תְּשִׁיבֶ֥נּוּ לֽוֹ׃ כִּ֣י הִ֤וא כסותה לְבַדָּ֔הּ הִ֥וא שִׂמְלָת֖וֹ לְעֹר֑וֹ בַּמֶּ֣ה יִשְׁכָּ֔ב וְהָיָה֙ כִּֽי־יִצְעַ֣ק אֵלַ֔י וְשָׁמַעְתִּ֖י כִּֽי־חַנּ֥וּן אָֽנִי׃ If you take your neighbor's night garment as collateral you must return it to him before evening. It is his only clothing, the sole covering for his skin. In what else shall he sleep? Therefore, if he cries out to Me, I will pay heed, for I am compassionate. ...

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