We Are Our Brothers' Keepers

Parasha Bereshit 5780 Good Shabbos. Now raise your hand if you do not have a brother - okay, lower your hands. Most of you know my family and know that I do not have a brother, at least not by blood. But that is a biological answer. Torah would have us answer differently. Parashah Bereishit really sets the table for so many things that play out throughout the rest of Torah. Two of many examples include the introduction of sin and death into the human story by Adam and Eve -- and Cain. Murdering his brother, as depraved and horrific as that is, becomes even worse when we hear the way he responds to God’s question, “Where is Abel, your brother?” To this, Cain spits back in retort, “Lo Yadati.

Nacham: From Regret to Comfort

Yom Kippur 5780 A blackboard stood in a park in Brooklyn with the question: What is your biggest regret? For an entire day, New Yorkers opened up about some of the deepest, most intimate parts of their lives. As the day went on, the blank board quickly filled. “Not saying I love you” “Burning bridges” “Not staying in touch” “Not being a better friend” By the end of the day, the production team who created this project, noticed a common theme among nearly all of the responses. The regrets people shared were all about chances not taken, words not spoken, dreams never pursued. Of course, regrets aren’t the sole reserve of New Yorkers. We all have them... Even our biblical heroes suffered from r

Teshuva - Return to Hashem

Shabbat Shuvah - 5780 So a woman returned home from an evening of church services..... ....when she was startled by an intruder robbing her house of its valuables. She yelled "Stop! Acts 2:38!" (Which we all know is the verse that says, “Repent [Make Teshuvah] and be Baptized [Immersed], in the name of Yeshua HaMashiach, so that your sins may be forgiven.) The burglar froze in his tracks. The woman calmly called the police and explained what she had done. As the officer cuffed the man to take him in, he asked the thief: "Why did you just stand there? All the lady did was yell a scripture at you." "Scripture?!" replied the burglar. "Man! She said she had an Ax and Two 38's." *****************

The Shofar - How to Listen

Rosh Hashanah 5780 At around age 10, growing up in Eastern Europe, a boy received a gift of his very own Shofar. So as Rosh HaShanah approached, he was so excited to practice blowing the Shofar. But try as he could, he just couldn’t get any sound out of it at all. Each day, during the month of Elul leading up to Rosh HaShanah, he would spend at least an hour – holding his mouth in various positions, making various kinds of rude vibrating noises with his lips, trying to produce any sound with the Shofar. But to no avail. The day before Rosh HaShanah, as he was practicing outside his home, a Russian farmer came by. “What’s that?” He said, “It’s a shofar.” Not realizing that this might be an

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