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Rabbi's Weekly Message

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Perashat Bereshit 5776

Friday, October 09, 2015 Author: Rabbi Elie Abadie

Everything in life appears to have a beginning. Life itself, eating the first foods, the first steps, first class, first time visiting something and many other examples can come to mind. Yet, it is customary to have a mourner eat an egg during the first meal of Shib’a - sitting; to convey the message that similar to an egg, it has no begging or end but where it begins, it seems to end, and vice versa. The lesson is that life has no beginning and end; it is continuous like the shape of a whole egg. ...

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Perashat Ha'azinu

Friday, September 25, 2015 Author: Rabbi Daniel Greenwald

Among the various admonitions in Perashat Ha'azinu, we are enjoined to, "Remember bygone days; understand the years of each generation; ask your father and he will tell you, your grandfather and he will say it over to you" [Debarim 32:7]. What is the Torah trying to tell us here? Rabbi Y. Frand notes that, "on a very simple and basic level, this pasuk [verse] is teaching the importance of having an appreciation for history." He explains that if a person has an appreciation of the past, he will be capable of dealing with the present. ...

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Perashsat Vayelekh

Friday, September 18, 2015 Author: Rabbi Elie Abadie

Movement connotes progress. When we use the expression we are “on the move”, it usually means we are advancing, we are progressing and we are evolving. To walk also indicates movement and advancement. Perashat Vayelekh meaning, ‘and he walks’, narrates the last day of Moshe on Earth. At 120 years of age, Moshe walks throughout the entire camp and visits all the 12 Tribes; he gives them his last will and testament and a copy of the Torah to each tribe. He warns them of all the calamities that they will bring upon themselves if they don’t keep and commit to all the stipulations of the Torah - the Covenant. The Torah scroll that he gives them will stand as a witness to his words.

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Perashat Nissabim

Friday, September 11, 2015 Author: Rabbi Elie Abadie

Perashat Nissabim is always read before Rosh HaShanah. Moshe tells the Children of Israel that they are “standing firm today before G-d: the leaders, the elders, the officers, the children, the women, and the converts… to be part of the covenant that G-d is sealing with you today”. Of course, Moshe, in his last Sermon prior to handing the mantel of leadership to Joshua, reminds Bene Israel of their responsibilities with Hashem, described in the Covenant, as they would be entering the Land of Israel. ...

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Perashat Ki Tabo

Friday, September 04, 2015 Author: Rabbi Elie Abadie

We always hear and speak of ‘pop culture’ as though it represents the culture of the time. Wikipedia, which in itself is part of contemporary pop culture, defines it this way: “Popular culture or pop culture is the entirety of ideas, perspectives, attitudes, images, and other phenomena that are within the mainstream of a given culture, especially Western culture of the early to mid 20th century and the emerging global mainstream of the late 20th and early 21st century.” If someone does not act or conform to the pop culture, he or she is considered an outsider, as though ‘they are not with the times’. They are looked upon as either primitive or plain ‘weird’. ...

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Perashat Ki Tesse

Friday, August 28, 2015 Author: Rabbi Elie Abadie

It has been centuries and millennia that the respect of private property has been a concept accepted by all, legislated and protected. Of course, economic and social philosophies of the last century have eroded such respect and protection; where private property has become the property of the government or the masses. ...

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Perashat Re'eh

Friday, August 14, 2015 Author: Rabbi Eli Abadie

One of the first precious gifts, and indeed the most precious gift, G-d gave mankind is the ability to choose, named philosophically “Free Will”. It took the world several millennia to discover that indeed a human is endowed with the freedom to choose and decide his or her own destiny. It wasn’t until the classical age of Greece, known erroneously as the ‘Cradle of Democracy’ and ‘Western Civilization’, that this was practiced. I say erroneously, because real Democracy and freedom of choice was not really practiced in classical Greece. Only free, white, intellectual, men were able to choose; women, slaves, peasants and other races and people were not part of the democratic process. ...

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Perashat Ekeb

Friday, August 07, 2015 Author: Rabbi Elie Abadie

Yesterday, I sent an email to the congregation about an article that tried to marvel at the Jews for their disproportionate high achievement and their contribution to the world. The article also tried to explain such a phenomenon. The Jews represent 0.02% of the world population and 2% of the U.S. population, yet they have made such enormous contribution to the betterment of humanity. ...

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Perashat Vaethanan

Friday, July 31, 2015 Author: Rabbi Elie Abadie

Nahamu: Memoirs of a Comforting Trip Israel is the only place in the world where the Bible comes alive. As I wrote in last week’s newsletter, I indeed commemorated Tish’a BeAb at the Kotel - the Western Wall together with thousands of other Jews and non-Jews alike. It was a very moving and paradoxical experience at the same time. Rabbis, Government officials, soldiers, students, old and young, men, women and children, Jews and non-Jews, were present as we all marked 1947 years of the destruction of the Temple and the exile of our People from the Land. And yet, Jerusalem is under Jewish sovereignty, the Wall is beautifully illuminated, we are free to enter and exit the area; and those 1947 years passed in front of all of us there, as a ‘blink of an eye’.

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Perashat Debarim

Friday, July 24, 2015 Author: Rabbi Elie Abadie

Standing on the top mountains of Judea and Samaria seeing the Holy Land from north to south and from east to west, reminds me of the passage where G-d tells Moshe to climb up the mountain Nebo and see the land that “I have given the Children of Israel and you will not go there”. I am sure it was a beautiful sight from Mt. Nebo as it is a beautiful sight from the mountains of Judea and Samaria. The only difference is that, Moshe saw it from outside the Land and we can see it from inside the Land. One may say, that’s not much of a difference since the view is very similar. However, the feeling is different and the sanctity is different. ...

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