Category Archives: Elul

The Story of the Akedah

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September 26, 2011

Janet Hadda Once upon a time, in the old country, there was a magid, an itinerant preacher, who went from shtetl to shtetl making his living with his spellbinding rhetoric.  This magid was unusual, though, in that he only had one drash: the story of Korakh.  A rebel against Moses and Aaron’s authority, Korakh was More »

Your one wild and precious life

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September 25, 2011

Rabbi Chai Levy As many of you already know, when you lose a parent or another loved one, everything changes. As I discovered this year, with the death of my father and of so many in this community, you realize how short life really is. It’s not that you didn’t know before that we humans More »

Parashat VaYeira: Seeing the Other

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September 23, 2011

© Rabbi Menachem Creditor Senior Sermon 5761/2001 I’ve been told that I look like my father. In fact, at this very moment, I probably resemble my father more than any moment before today. Because, 26 years ago, my father delivered his senior sermon. Today probably looks a lot like that day. A young bearded man More »

Akedat Itzak

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September 22, 2011

Andrea Zanardo I must confess that the whole story of Akedat Itzak, the binding of Isaac, that we have just read, is a bit disturbing to me. And I am sure I am not the only one who feels this way. It is an inhumane story: God commands to a father to kill his son. More »

Isaac’s Shofar

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September 21, 2011

“Happy are the people that knows the shofar’s sound, they walk in God’s light.” What does it mean to “know the shofar’s sound? How can we walk in God’s light? What is a worthy life? These are among the questions we face today. In rabbinic literature, the sounds of the shofar and today’s Torah reading More »

A Jewish Theology of Parenthood

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September 20, 2011

Rabbi Fred Morgan It was the great philosopher Emil Fackenheim who famously asked, after the Shoah is there a new mitzvah to be added to the traditional list of 613 mitzvot?  He derived from the Jewish experience of the Holocaust this mitzvah: You shall not hand Hitler a posthumous victory.  He went on to say More »

Trauma and Recovery: Abraham’s journey to the Akedah

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September 19, 2011

Naomi Graetz In the concluding paragraph of an article on the Akedah, the late Tikva Frymer Kensky wrote that “In its stark horror and ambiguous statements, the story of the Akeda remains the central text in the formation of our spiritual consciousness.” [2] In Genesis 22: 1 it begins, “After these things, God tested (nisah) More »

Where is The Love?

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September 18, 2011

Elliot J. Cosgrove The story of the akedah reminds of a Yiddish aphorism to the effect that “an act of folly which turns out well is still an act of folly.” Abraham, our heroic knight of faith, heeds God’s command to slaughter his son Isaac, an act that is fortuitously prevented by angelic intervention at More »

Bound to the Akedah: Some Teachings for Our Time

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September 16, 2011

Since its beginnings, human life has moved between the poles of being determined and choosing. Gradually, human beings have chipped out a margin of relative freedom beyond sheer survival. With the first cave paintings, sacred dances, and oral traditions, art and religion stepped into that free arena; and these twinned ways of knowing-the religious and More »