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Rabbi's Weekly Message

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Perashat Ki Tissa 5776

Friday, February 26, 2016 Author: Rabbi Elie Abadie

Every generation is known for something that typifies it. It is usually something important that defines a generation. In past history, the generations were known for a natural phenomenon, like the generation of the flood. Or, a historical event is credited, like the Exodus from Egypt. Even a period of time, like the generation of the Desert is common. It could also be a kingdom, like the Kingdom of David generation or the Kingdom of Solomon generation. Other generations include The Mediaeval ages, the Age of discovery and conquests, the Renaissance generation, the Emancipation generation, the Holocaust generation, the landing on the Moon generation, etc. ...

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Perashat Tessaveh 5776

Friday, February 19, 2016 Author: Rabbi Elie Abadie

We generally look with reverence at how a person dresses and what he or she is wearing. Usually what they are wearing, tells us plenty about who they are. Businesses and companies require their employees to wear a uniform that represents the company. Schools have compulsory uniforms for their students. A student may even be punished if he or she is not wearing the uniform. Different educational philosophies have arisen as to the positive or negative values of uniforms; how they affect the student, their individuality, uniformity or self-worth. No matter what side of this argument one finds themselves on, uniforms are either loved or hated. In sports, uniforms are a form of identification and loyalty. Fans wear the uniform of their favorite team. Great financial income accrues to the team via the selling of their uniforms and their paraphernalia. ...

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Perashat Terumah 5776

Friday, February 12, 2016 Author: Rabbi Daniel Greenwald

Over the next five perashiot, the Torah embarks on an extensive account of the effort that went into the planning and construction of the Mishkan, the movable Sanctuary in the desert. From the materials collected, to the minutiae of every component, including the appointment of those responsible for its design and execution, as well as its final completion, the Torah spares no detail in its description. Later on in the Torah in the book of Bemidbar, we read how all the tribes of Israel encamped in the desert with the Mishkan as their focal point. The narrative there also relates how each tribe had different flags, representing the different personalities and philosophies of each tribe. The function of the Mishkan, among other things, was to serve as the unifying force for all the various elements among the Jewish people. Rabbi Y. Frand relates that, “Despite the fact that there are different ways of looking at life, ultimately, we [i.e., the Jewish people] are all in it for the same reason – to serve the Almighty. The Mishkan is the central focus for all of us, regardless of where we are coming from.” Rabbi Frand adds that this is why the flags could not be implemented until the Mishkan was established during the second year of their travels, as Boreh Olam did not want to have flags, which represented divisiveness in Israel, to be present before the antidote to this divisiveness, i.e., the centralized Mishkan, was fully functional. ...

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Perashat Mishpatim 5776

Friday, February 05, 2016 Author: Rabbi Elie Abadie

For Americans, any conversation about slavery, recalls a time in our history going back over 150 years ago, when the Emancipation Proclamation, an executive order, was issued and signed by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863. For the rest of the Western civilization, that event took place on the heels of the French Revolution. In the world in which we live in, any conversation about slavery then, becomes a study in history with no present reality; or is it? ...

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Perashat Yitro 5776

Friday, January 29, 2016 Author: Rabbi Elie Abadie

Perashat Yitro is named after Moshe’s father-in-law, for his contribution of a prescription for effective leadership. There were two different guests that came to visit the Israelites in the desert. One was Yitro, whose counsel was a major benefit to Israel. Yitro, upon observing his son-in-law’s workload, recommended appointing competent men to assist Moshe in the leadership of Bene Yisrael. Following his advice. Moshe appoints qualified judges to oversee the day to day operations of government. ...

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Perashat Beshalah 5776

Friday, January 22, 2016 Author: Rabbi Elie Abadie

King Solomon in Kohelet – Ecclesiastes, declared that there is time for everything; a time to be born and a time to die, a time to build and a time to destroy, a time to plant and a time to sow. This does not mean that a person will have the time to do everything, but that there will always be an appropriate time to do, and actualize our wishes. When taken very literally however, a person runs the risk of believing that everything is dependent on themselves; as long as a person has the time to achieve it! The lesson in life here, then is, that after a long life, what we have achieved is, in the words of our Sages, “only half of what we set to achieve.” ...

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Perashat Bo 5776

Friday, January 15, 2016 Author: Rabbi Daniel Greenwald

“Time is the measurer of all things, but is itself immeasurable, and the grand discloser of all things, but is itself undisclosed.” - Charles Caleb Colton The above quote illustrates just how important is the concept of time. In this week’s perasha, Bo, the very first commandment given to the Jewish people was the missva to sanctify and control time. The Torah tells us that, “This month shall be for you the beginning of the months, the first of the months of the year for you.” (Shemot 12:1) The Almighty commanded us to declare and sanctify the New Moon, and thereby determine the beginning of the months, years and the holidays. Moshe Rabbenu was taught the science of determining the “new moon,” and this method was passed on to the sages, who utilized it until the fixed calendar was adopted in the fourth century C.E. ...

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Perashat Va'era 5776

Friday, January 08, 2016 Author: Rabbi Elie Abadie

In Perashat Shemot which we read last week, there is an ending with a short note; giving a prelude to this week’s Perashat Vaera. Moshe and Aharon are indicted by their people for their “Failed Leadership” in reducing and mitigating the burden of slavery placed upon the Israelites. They, in fact, were accused of worsening the situation by making the Israelites “abhorrent in the eyes of Pharaoh and his servants…” In turn Moshe indicts G-d for His “Failed Leadership” when he accuses G-d of, “Causing evil to the people and not rescuing them.” Of course, G-d tells Moshe that, “Now you will see what I shall do to Pharaoh, for through a strong hand he will send them out and through a strong hand he will chase them out of his land.” ...

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Perashat Shemot 5776

Friday, January 01, 2016 Author: Rabbi Elie Abadie

We all know the method that is used to ask for something big; we ask for something small first, and then ask for more and more and more. As children, we would ask for a candy, then when we are given from a handful to choose from, we ask, may I also have this one? And this one? And of course, the adult giving us the candy feels bad and gives us a few more candies than our original request. ...

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Perashat Vayehi 5776

Friday, December 25, 2015 Author: Rabbi Elie Abadie

We place great importance in educating our children. From the moment they are born, we start inculcating in them certain values of right and wrong, correct and incorrect. As soon as they reach the age of 12 to 18 months, we start searching for a good school that will be the “best“ for our child. For the next 12 to 16 years we are involved in the education of our children, choosing the best elementary and high school. We make sure to choose the best college and university, having in mind that our child will become the next Surgeon General or Attorney General or the next Bill Gates, Steven Jobs, Warren Buffet or Mark Zuckerberg. ...

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