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Rabbi Simcha Weinberg| The Foundation Stone™| Torah| Judaism| Hebrew Bible
The Music of Halacha: The Laws of Chol HaMoed: God, Man & Time Print E-mail

The Music of HalachaI delivered a short D’var Torah to open the synagogue’s monthly board meeting, answered a few questions about upcoming synagogue programs, and returned to my office. The president of the
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The Music of Halacha: Succot: The Symbols of God & Israel Print E-mail

The Music of HalachaThe Likutei Maharich maintains that despite all the midrashic and kabalistic explanations of the symbolism of the four species, they remain one of the sublime mysteries of the Torah.

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The Music of Halacha: A Three-Ply Cord is Not Easily Severed Print E-mail

The Music of Halacha(Based on Ecclesiastes 4:12): There are some people who have the custom of reading the entire Torah three times on the night of Hoshana Rabbah. (Abudirham; The Order of the Succot Prayers: Hoshana Rabbah)

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The Music of Halacha: Succot Imagination Print E-mail

Music of HalachaWe can observe the most complex and complicated laws. We can build a House for God that will actually attract His Presence, but it seems as if we cannot build a simple booth without some magical help:

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Haftarah: Shabbat Chol HaMoed Succot: Dignity Print E-mail

HaftarahEzekiel 38:18 – 39:16: In 38:23 we find the biblical source for Kaddish. The exalting of God's name is associated with death, for us in the Kaddish and in this prophecy with the deaths and burial of Israel's enemies.

 

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Haftarah Succot Day Two: Clouds of Success Print E-mail

Haftarot1Kings 8:2-21: The Succot remind us of the protection afforded by the seven clouds of glory as we traveled through the desert for forty years. In fact, Rabbi Eliyahu Mizrachi, Beha’alotecha, asks why we are not obligated

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Haftarah: Succot Day One:Everything is Upside Down Print E-mail

HaftarotZachariah 14:1-21: We reverse much of our reality on Succot. We move from our homes to the security and protection of a booth without a solid roof. Autumn, when much of nature is dying is filled with bursts of

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Ha'azinu: The Original Last Lecture PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg   
Friday, 14 November 2008 15:21

Samuel 2, Chapter 22: Imagine being able to sit with King David at the end of his life and listen to him reflect on 70 years of action, transformation, trials, tests, rebellions and victories. What would he say? What did he learn about life? …God? ...Himself? Whom did he consider his most dangerous enemy? What were his hopes for the future of his lineage and for the Jewish people? What did he consider the most important lesson of his life? We have an opportunity to eavesdrop on the final thoughts of one of the most beloved characters of the Bible. This selection, found in a slightly different form in Psalms 18, is King David’s “Last Lecture”.

David’s life was filled with highs and lows. He was constantly challenged to push his own limits to achieve increasing heights of attachment to God. In the story immediately preceding this “Last Lecture,” David is pushed to his limits. (See 2Samuel, Chapter 21) In fact, his life continues to soar after this chapter; he sins, repairs and finds the ultimate home for the Temple and the Ark of the Covenant. This “Goodbye Song,” prepares him for the final acts of his life. (See Chapter 24)

“With the devout You deal devoutly, with the one who is strong in his wholeheartedness You act wholeheartedly. With the pure You act Purely, with the corrupt You act perversely.” (Verses 26-27) In the closing chapter of his life, David states that what he has learned is that God responds measure for measure. God relates to us exactly as we relate to God. We are listening in to the final thoughts of a man who suffered the loss of children, the public rebellion of some of his children, the unending public ridicule for his relationship with Bathsheba, exile, deprivation, and humiliation, and he publicly explains that whatever happened to him was measure for measure a response to realities he created. David does not voice any complaints at this moment of his life. He accepts full responsibility for everything that happened. He actually celebrates the idea of measure for measure. He understands that his descendants will determine the future of his line of kings, measure for measure. He is celebrating the power of choice to shape the future of an individual, a family or a nation.

The sages, (TBMegillah 13b) take David’s words and understand them as an Halachic ruling: One must deal with other people as they deal with him. The patriarch Jacob was obligated to deal with Laban with full awareness that his future father-in-law was a crook; “with the corrupt You act perversely.” David’s life was a life lived with a deep appreciation of the realities we create, the good and the bad.

 

After this Final Lecture, when David accepted responsibility for everything in his life, David was given the opportunity to find the home for God’s Temple and Ark. A person who has a deep awareness of the realities we create is the person who can develop a meaningful relationship with God. Only such a person can find God’s home.

 

Last Updated on Sunday, 26 March 2017 14:08
 
The Dance of the Lulav Print E-mail

SuccotThe Midrash  understands the verse, “David and all the House of Israel were playing before God, ” as meaning the people were shaking their Lulavim! There is an element of play. They expressed
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Shabbat Chol Hamoed Succot Hallel Paragraph Two Print E-mail

Shabbat“The Sea saw it and ran away.” It is interesting how God made Moshe a public and active participant in the splitting of the Sea. God didn’t need Moshe, but wanted him to be the one who brought about the great miracle.

 

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