At the Blowing of the Shofar

by HaShomer StaffThe Jewish holiday season is quickly approaching. It is a special time for us, personally and as a nation, to reflect on our lives over the previous year and take account of ourselves, our relationships, and most importantly, our relationship with Adonai. I don’t know about you, but I find it more physically…

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On the mountain top of the Lord

By Wendy CohenReprinted by permission of the author What follows is a story about American politics, but its message is universal, as it discusses how all of us are required, by God, to handle emotional, mental, and spiritual blackmail. It also provides understanding about how prophecy can be misinterpreted and used incorrectly. I hope you…

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Insights From Ruth

by Rabbi Jeffrey AdlerOne wonderful item shared by so many is the accounting that continuous study of Scripture leads to ever new insights, even after many years of reading the same Biblical text. Such an event occurred with me recently when reading the 4th chapter of Ruth, a text I have read frequently over more…

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“Psalm” Choices Are Better Than Others

by Rabbi Jeffrey Adler As Rosh haShanah comes around with its emphasis on repentance, it is well to heed the message of the 1st Psalm. A major factor in character development is the choice or choices of the influences to which we expose ourselves. The 1st Psalm addresses this: “Happy is the one who has…

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Law And Grace In Eden

by Rabbi Jeffrey Adler God’s creation of Man occurred on the 6th day of Creation. This act of creating Man in His Image capped off the entire creation project, resulting in His assessing all as “tov m’od”, “very good”. Adam was the capstone, God’s best and favorite, the pinnacle of what He had made. (8)…

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An Inexhaustible Constant

by Rabbi Jeffrey Adler Psalm 115 is the 3rd of the Hallel Psalms, so often associated with the Passover season, but, so appropriate at any time, any circumstance. The Exodus from Egypt followed hundreds of years separated from our promised homeland, from our divinely determined destiny. It culminated in many years of oppression and slavery…

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Jephthah, the Bandit Judge

by Rabbi Jeffrey Adler Very often, the people Adonai chooses would not make our list of acceptable candidates. Judges 11 tells us of one such individual. In the 10th chapter, Israel had, again, fallen into idolatry. 10:6 begins, “Then B’nei-Yisrael again did what was evil in Adonai’s eyes. They worshipped the Baalim, the Ashtaroth, gods…

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Where Is the Lamb?

by Rabbi Jeffrey Adler The Akedah, or “binding”, is one of the most gut-wrenching incidents in Scripture. It is usually associated with the High Holy Days in the Autumn, as it is the Torah portion for Rosh haShanah, but, there are definitely aspects seriously relevant to Passover. We find the Akedah narrative in Genesis 22….

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A Covenant Out of Despair

by Rabbi Jeffrey A. Adler Genesis 15 begins with a despairing Avram. We often think of the Biblical heroes as being almost superhuman, certainly untainted by the same kinds of struggles faced by the rest of us. Instead, we find that these remarkable people were aided by the even more remarkable God. The chapter begins,…

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Instructions to a Son

by Rabbi Jeffrey Adler One of the dominant patterns in Mishle, or Proverbs, is Solomon’s giving counsel to a son, possibly Rehoboam, his eventual successor, but, with his 1000 wives and concubines, one cannot be certain how many sons he had and could be addressing. In chapter 3, one of the better known passages of…

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