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Sukkot: From the Fast to the Party

October 6, 2019 – 12:12 am | 65 views

The party begins on Sukkot. The first ten days of the year are somber. Rosh Hashanah is the day of judgement, then next week are the days of repentance, and Yom Kippur is the fast. After the fast, our festivals take a radical turn and we move from the fast …

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Shabbat Shuvah: The Uplifting Return

October 3, 2019 – 10:41 am |
return.innerstream.ca

The uplifting return that marks the first ten days of the Hebrew calendar year is expressed in the name that tradition has assigned to this Shabbat: Shabbat Shuvah, the Shabbat of return. In English, when we speak of regret and of turning over a new leaf, we call it repentance. In Hebrew we call it returning.

This is not just a difference of semantics, it is a difference of perspective on an existential question. One of the definitions in Merriam Webster’s entry for repentance is, “to change.” But return doesn’t mean to change who we are. It means to go back to who we really are. The question is, who am I? Am I a good person who has done bad or am I a bad person because I have done bad? If the former, I need to return to my original state—return to the core me. If the latter, I need to repent—to change. Read the full story »

Rosh Hashanah: Without A Crutch

September 22, 2019 – 2:11 pm |
crutch-innerstream.ca

A crutch can help you get past a difficult hump, but a crutch can also be a trap. When the time comes to discard the crutch, the crutch becomes a trap if you lack the courage to go without it. Athletes famously hold on to crutches. Wade Boggs was a …

Ki Tavo: The Enduring Soul

September 14, 2019 – 11:13 pm |
enduring-soul-innerstream.ca

The enduring soul is our secret weapon.
If you were Abraham, a lonely man of faith, surrounded by powerful pagan nations who opposed your every effort to teach monotheism, would you believe that you would change the world? If you were alive in 069 and watched the powerful Roman army burn …

Ki Teze: The Size of a Mitzvah

September 7, 2019 – 10:18 pm |
mitzvah-innerstream.ca

G-d did not disclose the nature of the reward that we receive for performing a Mitzvah so that we would not give preference to any ne Mitzvah over another. However, lest we assume that difficult-to-perform-mitzvot are more important than those that come easily, the Torah presents us with two mitzvot …

Shoftim: A True Enemy

August 31, 2019 – 11:05 pm |
enemy-innerstream.ca

A true enemy attacks you because he wants to destroy you. You did nothing wrong, you didn’t offend him, molest him, or steal from him, yet, he attacks because your existence bothers him.
The Torah tells us that when the enemy attacks, we must not fear him even if he appears …

Re’e: The Cellphone Problem

August 24, 2019 – 11:00 pm |
cellphone-innerstream.ca

Cellphone, a word my grandmother never heard, is a huge part of my life. People, the world over, communicate via cell phone to the extent that landlines are being phased out and snail mail is a thing of the past. But the convenience comes with a price. In fact, many …

Ekev: Why We Eat

August 18, 2019 – 2:16 pm |
eat-innerstream.ca

We eat because we must live, but according to the Torah, eating is even more important than life.
One of the most profound messages in the Torah is captured in this verse. “Man does not live on bread alone, but on the word of G-d.” There are many layers of meaning …

Vaetchanan: True Love

August 11, 2019 – 11:11 pm |
priest - innerstream

G-d wants our love. How much love does He want? Whatever we are prepared to give, and then some.
“And you shall love G-d with all your heart, with all your life, and with all your might.”[1] This verse demands that we give G-d three kinds of love. The love of …

Devarim: Family Unity

August 4, 2019 – 9:03 pm |
family-innerstream.ca

Family unity is the most important part of Judaism, and the most elusive. Why is that?
What are the Jewish people? We aren’t a race since there are Jews from all different races, white Jews, black, Jews, Hispanic Jews, etc. We aren’t a nation since there are Jews from all different …