Archive for August, 2011

Re’eh 5771 — Eating Animals

August 26, 2011
Re’eh 5771 — Eating Animals

For the last year and a half I have been struggling with a guilty conscience about what I eat. And I don’t like the feeling. It’s not that I run off somewhere for an occasional secret bacon fix, God forbid. I still follow all the rules – at least the letter of the rules...
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Vaetchanan 5771 — God is One

August 18, 2011

Shema Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai Echad Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God, the Lord is One …Deuteronomy 6:4 These are probably the most familiar Hebrew words in the entire language. We are commanded to say these words in the morning when we get up, and we are commanded to say them when we...
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The Last Kaddish

August 14, 2011

Almost every day for the last 11 months I have attended services with a minyan (prayer quorom) and said the Kaddish memorial prayer in honor of my mother, Maria, who passed away last year on the holiday of Sukkot.   I’ve gone to services when I was running late and rushing, and just managed...
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Tisha b’Av 5771 — Still Fasting

August 8, 2011
Tisha b’Av 5771 — Still Fasting

Once again, the fast of the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av is upon us. Once again, we’re fasting not feasting: the Messiah has not yet come. The world we are in is still broken.  Israel still faces many challenges, from within and without. We are now in what many call the...
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It’s not easy to say I’m sorry

August 8, 2011

First published in the Jerusalem Post, August 8, 2011 by Rabbi Barry Leff Why should Israel apologize to Turkey over the Mavi Marmara incident? After all, the forthcoming report from the UN’s Palmer Commission is widely expected to say Israel’s blockade of Gaza is legal under international law, and that the Turkish government’s involvement...
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Devarim 5771: Fear of God

August 5, 2011
Devarim 5771: Fear of God

“However you would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the Lord your God…”   …Deuteronomy 1:26 In this week’s Torah reading, Moses is nearing the end of his life. The entire last book of the Torah, Deuteronomy (Devarim) is basically Moses final farewell speech to the people of Israel before he...
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