The Creation and the Meaning of Existence

Breishit Ch 1-Ch 2, v 3 Introduction: A lot of our ideas about “the Bible” come from fundamentalist Christians: “an eye for an eye” taken literally, seven physical days of creation, a universe that is a few thousand years old. Jews, on the other hand, believe the

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The Destruction of Sodom

Breishit 18 The Destruction of Sodom : Kindness and Anti-Kindness   (Ch 19) Ask: What was the sin of Sodom that was so bad that they deserved to be destroyed? After reading the story of Sodom’s destruction, people will generally answer that their sin was sexual perversion. The word

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Avraham and the Angels

Our Patriarchs are each shown in the Torah as doing one specific thing that most typified who they were. With Avraham, it was taking in guests—he was a man who loved kindness and used it to bring people closer to G-d. With Yitzhak, it was “talking in

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Avraham and Circumcision

Breishit 15  Avraham and Circumcision: Why the Jews Part 2 Ask: Did you have your son circumcised? (or, when you do have children, do you plan to have your son circumcised?)  Most people will answer yes. Ask: Why? (Very few people will have a worked out answer) There are some very

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Avraham and Yishmael: Why the Arabs

Breishit 14  Avraham and Yishmael: Why the Arabs Today’s section deals with the birth of Yishmael, recognized by both the Jews and the Arabs as the ancestor of the Arab people. Ask: Is it a good thing that the Arab people came into existence? (People might be shocked at the

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Avraham and Lot: The Choice of all Choices

Avraham has gone through a difficult experience in Egypt. When he leaves Egypt, though, he has become a wealthy man, and G-d’s first promise to him is fulfilled. Now he has to deal with another problem-his nephew Lot. 1-When Avraham returns to Canaan, he goes back to

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Living for Greatness

Ask: Do you think the Jews are special, different? If so, how would you define that difference? (People might say drive, intelligence, concern for family, idealism-point out that none of these are complete explanations for the survival and impact of the Jews) In the Havdala service, we

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The Tower of Bavel – The First United Nations

Throughout the twentieth century, and continuing into the twenty-first, we see a trend almost unprecendented in the history of the world. The nations of the world have been moving towards a greater and greater unity. It started after World War I with the founding of the League of Nations.

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After the Flood

G-d created human beings to use their free will to achieve the ultimate connection to G-d. His original Plan A was to put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and give them the opportunity to use their free will in resisting the Tree of Knowledge

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Noach’s Flood

We are living in a world where we hear increasingly the phrase “weapons of mass destruction”. Wars that could destroy the world or significant numbers of people in it are not beyond our imagination. Vast natural disasters-global warming, or a runaway asteroid-are also not inconceivable to us

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The First Couple

The First Couple In order to understand what marriage is supposed to be, we will examine the first marriage of the Torah: that of Adam and Chava (Eve[2]). וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהִים לֹא טוֹב הֱיוֹת הָאָדָם לְבַדּוֹ אֶעֱשֶׂה לּוֹ עֵזֶר כְּנֶגְדּוֹ:וַיַּפֵּל יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהִים תַּרְדֵּמָה עַל הָאָדָם וַיִּישָׁן וַיִּקַּח

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Night Owls? Not!

Bereishit (Genesis 1:1-6:8) By Rabbi Bourch Leff (Based on the teachings of Rav Yaakov Weinberg zt”l) Night Owls? Not! Have you ever had such a terrible day that you felt like there was nothing to look forward to in your life? Yet, somehow when you woke up the

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What’s ‘In The Beginning’?

“In the beginning of God’s creating the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) Rebbe Yitzhak said: “It was not necessary to begin the Torah [here], but rather with “This month shall be to you” (Exodus 12:2), the first mitzvah commanded to the Jewish people. (Rashi to Genesis 1:1) Rashi begins

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Parenting

Introduction–From studying the Almighty’s relationship with Man we can learn about parenting Genesis 2,8 and 2,15–16In 2,8 it says that G-d put (vyisem) man in the Garden of Eden. In 2,15 it says that G-d took (vyikach) the man and put him at rest (vyinach) in the

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