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Rabbi's Weekly Message

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Perashat Vayelekh 5777

Friday, October 07, 2016 Author: Rabbi Elie Abadie

Life is a dynamic process. In life, we move, we progress, we change. The most important factor in life, is time. Time is measured and defined scientifically as the movement from point A to point B. As time passes, so life passes. We move in life from one stage to another, from one place to another, from one situation to another. ...

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Perashat Nessabim 5776

Friday, September 30, 2016 Author: Rabbi Elie Abadie

The Me Generation (AKA the iGeneration) The generation in which we live, has been dubbed the, “Me Generation.” It is certainly not a flattering term for an entire generation. As its name alludes, this generation looks to satisfy, please, enrich, make happy, and gratify oneself. Since the 1960’s, this phenomenon began with the Civil Rights movement, and continued with the Women’s Liberation movement, constantly emphasizing the rights of the individual. This enormous social movement then, shifted its attention and focus of society from the welfare of the group to the welfare of the individual. While in the past, the rights and welfare of the individual may have been restricted - or even sacrificed for the welfare and advancement of society - now it is completely the opposite; the rights and welfare of society have been overlooked and sacrificed for the rights and welfare of the individual. This shift has taken place in government, in the courts and in society in general....

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Perashat Ki Tabo 5776

Friday, September 23, 2016 Author: Rabbi Elie Abadie

Compassion Begins at Home Over 10 days ago we commemorated the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11. We cannot, but remember the tragedy that was brought upon this country by a group of 19 Islamic terrorists who had no respect for the sanctity of life, including the lives of civilians; men, women and children. These terrorists plunged people to their death, burned, murdered and killed 2,977 innocent people; may their memory be of blessing. This country and the entire world, were shaken by such a tragedy. Unfortunately, the world today is not safer than 15 years ago; in fact it has become more dangerous and lawless. Just this past week New York and New Jersey witnessed several bombings perpetrated by an Islamic terrorist whose intention was to kill as many people as possible and wreak havoc upon the inhabitants of this city and the United States. The past year has seen many Islamic terrorist attacks throughout the world; in Europe, in the Americas, in the Middle East and, of course, in Israel. More and more diabolical and cruel villains have been rearing their ugly heads. We cannot tell anymore if reality is mimicking Hollywood or if Hollywood is mirroring realty. ...

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Perashat Ki Tesse 5776

Friday, September 16, 2016 Author: Rabbi Elie Abadie

We have been reading a lot in the newspapers and in the electronic media about captive women and their mistreatment. The wars in Syria and Iraq, in Yemen, and in Africa have brought to light the atrocities committed against women and minors; young and old alike. Their sale in slave markets, their physical enslavement and their sexual exploitation, is reminiscent of the ancient and medieval ages. Yet it is actually happening in our days - in the 21st century! The violations of their human rights and their dignity is deplorable and reprehensible. Yet, we do not hear much in the way of protestations from the rest of the world. ...

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Perashat Shofetim 5776

Friday, September 09, 2016 Author: Rabbi Elie Abadie

There has been a lot of talk this year during the presidential campaign about secure borders and the responsibility of a leader to protect his home, city or nation from intruders that have the intent to inflict harm upon that territory and its inhabitants. I believe that everyone agrees that it is important to protect oneself and one's own territory from trespassers and from anyone who is bent upon committing crimes against the citizens and inhabitants of that territory. The question is, to what extent does one have to go to protect their country and its people. This is where the disagreement lays. ...

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Perashat Re'eh 5776

Friday, September 02, 2016 Author: Rabbi Daniel Greenwald

Among the many ritual and ethical laws found in Perashat Re'eh, is that of Shemittah, the Sabbatical year. This law requires the People of Israel to leave their land, in the Land of Israel, fallow - unworked - every seventh year; neither sowing nor pruning nor reaping nor harvesting. The land is allowed to "rest" and fruits and vegetables are "free" for the taking. The Torah tells us that the land in the Land of Israel may never be sold or owned forever, for the land itself belongs to G-d; we are merely residents and occupants of the land....

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Perashat Ekeb 5776

Friday, August 26, 2016 Author: Rabbi Elie Abadie

All too often the obvious is overlooked. For example, we may be looking for something which has been right in front of us all along, though we cannot see it. Then there are times when we are taking a multiple-choice exam and the answer is staring us in the face, but we ignore it. Other times, we are looking for a solution to a problem - and are provided with a solution - but we dismiss it, thinking that it is too simplistic. In essence, what is in front of us we can’t see, and what is too simple, we ignore. ...

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Perashat Vaethanan 5776

Friday, August 19, 2016 Author: Rabbi Eli Abadie

During this election year cycle, we have been hearing a lot about the U.S. Constitution. Each side accuses the other of ignoring it and wanting to violate it. Some insist that the violation will take place in a subtle way, via appointing Justices to the Supreme Court who will interpret the Constitution based on their political leaning and in favor of various interest groups. Others say, the violation will take place by Executive Orders of a President that will flaunt his/her violations of the Constitution. ...

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Perashat Debarim 5776

Friday, August 12, 2016 Author: Rabbi Elie Abadie

A story is told about Napoleon Bonaparte, whose empire reached as far as the shores of the Land of Israel, and was believed to have even docked at Jaffa and spent a few days there. As he was visiting the Jewish community, it happened to be the night of Tish’a Be’Ab. He saw how the entire congregation was sitting on the floor, crying and weeping with barely a candle lit. He asked his assistant as to why the Jews were crying. He told him because their Temple was burnt and destroyed. Thinking that it was destroyed a week or so beforehand, he was shocked to hear that it happened over 1700 years before. When he was told that it was the Great Temple in Jerusalem, he couldn’t believe that a tragic event that occurred so many centuries earlier can evoke such sadness and a sense of loss. He commented that a people that can mourn such a tragedy that occurred so many years ago, and have not forgotten it, will be worthy of seeing it rebuilt. He committed himself to rebuild the Temple for them. We do not know exactly why he did not rebuild it as he promised. One opinion was that the Pope at that time objected to it, and prevented him from doing so. ...

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Perashat Matot-Masei 5776

Friday, August 05, 2016 Author: Rabbi Daniel Greenwald

Perashat Matot opens with the laws of vows, from whence we learn the power and significance of one’s speech. The Torah states concerning one who makes a vow, that, “he shall not break his word.” [Bamdibar 30:3] Thus, a person who obligates himself by making an oral declaration, and does not keep his word, violates a prohibition from the Torah. We might ask, what’s the big deal? After all, it’s just a few words! To compound matters, our sages [Baba Messia 48a] teach us that the court places a curse on the person who does not keep his word, consider him to be on par with one of the generation of the Flood, or a citizen of Sodom and ‘Amorah! ...

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