Category Archives: Holidays

Chanukah – Isaiah 2:5

Chanukah – Isaiah 2:5 The celebration of Chanukah was instituted after prophecy had already ceased from the community of Israel. The religious leadership of the people established this holiday as an expression of thanksgiving to God that is to last … Continue reading

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Blessing of Sabbath versus Selfish Self-Sacrifice – Isaiah 58:13

Blessing of Sabbath versus Selfish Self-Sacrifice – Isaiah 58:13 Living a sacrificial life can sometimes be an extreme expression of self-centeredness. People don’t like to see themselves as “takers” – they enjoy thinking of themselves as altruistic “givers”. In pursuit … Continue reading

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Yom Kippur 5773 – Isaiah 58

Yom Kippur 5773 – Isaiah 58 Man has an amazing capacity for self-deception. People could sometimes define their efforts as reaching out to God when in fact they have done no such thing. They see their activities as the holiest … Continue reading

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Weeks of Harvest – Jeremiah 5:24

Weeks of Harvest – Jeremiah 5:24 The Bible does not explicitly describe Shavuot, the Festival of Weeks, as the day of the giving of the Torah. We can calculate that the date of the festival coincides with that historic revelation … Continue reading

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Fire, Offerings and Passover

Fire, Offerings and Passover There is no Hebrew counter-part for the English word: “sacrifice”. The terms that the Bible uses to describe the sacrifices in the Temple are: “olah” – a word that represents the burning of the offering with … Continue reading

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Forming a Nation

Forming a Nation Exodus 13:8, Psalm 78:5 The exodus from Egypt was a foundational event in the history of our nation and the retelling of the story is an important aspect of preserving our heritage as Jews. On the first … Continue reading

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Passover – Genesis 17:7

  Passover – Genesis 17:7   The commandment to partake of the Passover offering is unique in that circumcision is a necessary prerequisite for participation in this observance (Exodus 12:48). The Scriptural narratives that describe the observance of Passover in … Continue reading

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Channuka – Ezekiel 11:16

The word “Channuka” means “dedication”. It refers, of course, to the dedication of the Temple that took place when the Hasmoneans recaptured the Temple from the Syrian-Greeks, purified it and rededicated it for the service of God. The fact is … Continue reading

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Repentance

Repentance “Open for Me, My sister My beloved…” (Song of Songs 5:2) “Said the Holy One, Blessed be He to Israel; My children, open for Me an opening of repentance like the eye of a needle, and I will open for … Continue reading

Posted in Atonement, Holidays | 28 Comments

Kol Nidrei

Kol Nidrei It is an interesting way to open up a day dedicated to repentance. The day that is designated for atonement and returning to God opens with the recital of “Kol Nidrei”. “Kol Nidrei” is not a prayer or … Continue reading

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