Rabbi Sessler D’var Torah

Judaism: The Never-Dying Empire of Eternity Paul Kennedy, a distinguished Yale scholar, wrote a fabulous book about the “Rise and Fall of Great Powers.” In this book, Kennedy’s essential argument is that superpowers tend to disintegrate because of “iron and gold”, i.e. – because of a paucity of fundamental material...

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Rabbi Sessler D’var Torah

On Books The greatest living Hebrew writer is the Israeli novelist Amos oz. In his memoirs, Oz writes that his father (Dr. Yehudah-Arieh Klausner Z”L) was a man “horny for books” . According to his son, Dr. Klausner was a man existentially stimulated by books. The author’s father would sensuously...

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Rabbi Sessler D’var Torah

The Tragedies of Theodor Herzl Theodor Herzl (1860-1904), is remembered as the man who created the organizational and political infrastructure of the Zionist cause, culminating in the establishment of the State of Israel, some four and a half decades after his death. Herzl led a brief and volatile existence. Tragically,...

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Rabbi Sessler D’var Torah

Love Your Neighbor: Utopia or a Realistic Goal? Rabbi Akiba, a great second century sage, privileged the mitzvah of “Love your neighbor as you love yourself, I am G-d” (Leviticus 19:18), which appears in our parahsha, as one of the cornerstones of Jewish theology. Maimonides followed suit in his halachic...

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Rabbi Sessler D’var Torah

From Jackie Slutske With Love Dear friends, some eight days ago our synagogue lost a beloved and esteemed member of our community, the late Jackie Slutske. Prior to her death, Jackie wrote down her own spiritual legacy and life vision for her family and for all of us. It was...

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Rabbi Sessler D’var Torah

Two Threats to the Jewish People In the Passover Haggadah, which we read last week, a somewhat crypt phrase reads in the Hebrew as follows: “Arami oved avi.” There are two ways to understand this verse. One way is “An Aramite sought to destroy my father.” This reading reminds us...

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Rabbi Sessler D’var Torah

We Are The Children Jewish spirituality has always been captivated by the mystery and majesty of the development of self. As we prepare to leave Egypt in the Torah, Moses’s speech to the people does not address the wars ahead, nor the great rendezvous with destiny on Mount Sinai, but...

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Rabbi Sessler D’var Torah

An Open Letter to Our Children Before every High Holiday and Passover season, Mrs. Neda Mehdizadeh spearheads the wonderful mitzvah of sending a care package to all of our college students. In addition, she also honors me with the opportunity to write a few words to our students. I am...

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Rabbi Sessler D’var Torah

                                     Words that Heal, Words that Kill In Judaism, words are holy and sacred. The world was created by Divine speech, teaches us the opening chapter of the Torah.  Words are big in Jewish spirituality. So much so, that the concluding book of the Torah is actually called “Words” (“Devarim”)....

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Rabbi Sessler D’var Torah

 The Jews of Spain: From Tragedy and Adversity to Triumph and Greatness 48 Hours ago, on Thursday 3/31, historically conscious Jews commemorated the 524th anniversary of the royal edict/decree issued by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, which announced the expulsion of all Spanish Jews who refused to convert to Christianity....

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