Erasable Permanent Markers

Yom Kippur is tomorrow night. What happens on this, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar? "Kippur" is often translated as atonement -- to make reparation for bad deeds, and restore a relationship damaged by those offenses. That is a good description -- but why is...

Royal Treasures

One restless night, Benny, who was having trouble making a living, had a vivid dream. His dream showed him, in precise detail, the whereabouts of a stuffed backpack with two million dollars cash, at the bottom of a dumpster on the Virginia shore. He woke from his...

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The Stick Factor

"How could you forget? You knew we arranged to meet for coffee at 1:30 today!" "Really -- it just slipped my mind. I'm sorry. I just forgot." "What do you mean you just forgot?" "I don't know. My memory isn't perfect. These things happen." "Well, if it was really...

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Life Between the Cracks

I was about 15 years old when I lost a Siddur (prayer book) on a backpacking trip near the summit of New Hampshire's Mt. Washington, the highest peak in the Northeastern United States. It must have fallen out of my pocket at a pit-stop along the hike. After my return...

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Was It Me?

We're told in this week's Torah portion that when a murder victim is discovered, the elders of the city closest to the site where the body was found gather and say "Our hands did not spill this blood, and we were not witness to it (Deut 21:7)." They then pray for...

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We’re No Abraham

Is it easy to make a moral choice? Moshe, our teacher, tells us that it is, at least in principle: "See that I have placed before you today 'blessing' and 'curse'. The blessing, if you will listen to the Commandments of HaShem your G-d which I have commanded you...

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To Heel the World

Our reading this week begins with an unusual word in its opening verse: "And it will be that as a consequence [Eikev] of listening to these judgments, guarding and doing them, that HaShem your G-d will guard for you the Covenant and the kindness which He swore to your...

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