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Sep 22, 2020, 7:44 PM
We Are Never Driving Alone (Isaiah 57:14-58:14)
With the onset of Yom Kippur, we still might feel ourselves distant from God. This distance seems so pronounced because the process of 'teshuva' – repentance - remains daunting. How do we, so caught up in who we are,...
Sep 22, 2020, 9:33 AM
A Chance Not To Pass Up (Hosea 14:2-10 Micah 7:18-20)
Shabbat Shuva takes its name from the first word of the special haftarah for the Shabbat between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur: “Return (Shuva), O Israel, to the Lord your God, for you have fallen because of your sin.”...
Sep 16, 2020, 7:32 AM
Breaching the Spiritual Exile (Jeremiah 31:1-19)
Jeremiah is known as the prophet of disaster but amidst his message of doom is a message of hope and restoration. He prophesied the exile but he also declared the return of God’s children to their homeland. His encouragement...
Sep 15, 2020, 11:24 PM
Hey God, I Matter Too (1 Samuel 1:1-2:10)
In the rabbinic tradition, Rosh Hashanah is known as Yom HaZikaron – the Day of Remembrance. This theme explains the choice of Torah and Haftarah readings for this day. In particular, on the first day of Rosh Hashanah, we...
Sep 9, 2020, 9:10 AM
There Ain’t Nothing Without Love (Isaiah 61:10-63:9)
We have come to the last of the shiva d’nechamta, the seven haftarot of consolation which frame the period between Tisha B’Av and Rosh Hashanah. Rabbi Yitzchak Abrabanel (Spain 15th century) characterized its message in these words : “After...
Sep 2, 2020, 10:19 AM
A Sacred Partnership (Isaiah 60:1-22)
The seven haftarot of consolation (shiva d’nehamta), were born of a yearning for redemption. Those who returned to Jerusalem after seventy years of exile in Babylonia, encountered a city, downtrodden and desolate. They longed to see and feel the...
Aug 26, 2020, 8:23 AM
Making Your Blessings Count (Isaiah 54:1-10)
In this, the fifth of the seven haftarah of consolation (shiva d'nechamta), the prophet offers a message of encouragement to a forlorn people who have suffered the destruction of the First Temple and the exile of its children: "Shout...
Aug 19, 2020, 10:38 PM
To Believe is to be Optimistic (Isaiah 51:12-52:12)
We have reached the fourth of the seven haftarot of consolation which follow Tisha b’Av (Shiva d’nehamta). The return from Babylonian exile was fraught with challenges and the prophet sees as his charge to imbue the returnees with a...
Aug 12, 2020, 10:15 AM
Sharing the Role of Prophet (Isaiah 54:11-55:5)
Getting at the exact meaning of Scripture is often a daunting task. Sometimes the meaning of a certain words is difficult to ascertain. At other times, figuring out the exact context of a verse is a problem. Similarly, determining...
Aug 5, 2020, 10:15 AM
Who is to Blame, You or God? (Isaiah 49:14-51:3)
In the second of the seven haftarot of consolation (shiva d'nehamta), the prophet addresses the nation's insecurity over feeling abandoned by God. Will the exile end or won’t it? Does God remember His people or doesn’t He? Isaiah responded...
Mordechai Silverstein is a teacher of Torah who has lived in Jerusalem for over 30 years. He specializes in helping people build personalized Torah study programs.