Author Archive | Rabbi Heidi Cohen

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Elul Reflections 22 – September 13

Rabbi David N. Young In his TED Talk, “The Psychology of Your Future Self,” Harvard Professor Dan Gilbert explains the phenomenon of the “End of History Illusion.” He explains that humans think that at any given moment in our personal development, we are finished developing. We believe that our taste in music, our favorite vacation, […]

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Elul Reflections 21 – September 12

Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker In Deuteronomy (30:11-14) we find the following teaching: “Surely this Instruction (Torah), which I enjoin upon you this day, is not too baffling for you, nor is it beyond reach.  It is not in the heavens, that you should say, ‘Who among us can go up to the heavens and get it […]

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Elul Reflections 20 – September 11

U’netaneh Tokef is considered one of the most challenging prayers of the High Holidays.  Many have a hard time with its simple reading, that our lives are not really determined by the choices that we make, but our fate is “written on Rosh Hashanah and on Yom Kippur it is sealed.”  Yet, the core of […]

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Elul Reflections 18 – September 9

Why My Mother Cried April Akiva, R.J.E. Each year, while preparing for the High Holy Days, my mother would blast Avinu Malkeinu over the stereo and sob.  I can clearly remember her sitting on the edge of the stairs crying her eyes out, as if someone had just passed away.  She would set the table […]

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Elul Reflections 17 – September 8

Rabbi Nico Socolovsky ..The chief of the police asked: “How am I to understand that God, who is omniscient, asks Adam, ‘Where are you?’” The rabbi replied: “Do you believe that scripture is eternal and encompasses every age, every generation, and every person?” —- “Well now,” said the Zaddik, “in every age God addresses every […]

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Elul Reflections 16 – September 7

Rabbi Stephen J. Einstein Sometimes when I want to explain the concept of midrash, I will simply say, “Father, I cannot, tell a lie.” Every American child has grown up hearing this famous story from the boyhood of the Father of our Country, our first President, George Washington.  Along the way, some teacher probably informed […]

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Elul Reflections 15 – September 6

Rabbi Sarah DePaolo Maimonides taught that in order for a person to successfully complete the process of t’shuvah, she must confront the same situation in which she erred, or find himself in a situation when he has the potential to transgress again, and, “abstains and does not commit it because of T’shuvah alone” (Mishneh Torah, […]

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Elul Reflections 13 – September 4

Rabbi Eric Linder Lao Tzu wrote, Every journey begins with a single step. Think about just one thing that you can do. One act of t’shuvah, one mitzvah. This is doable and achievable. Now, go and do it! Then, do another, and another … Judaism teaches us that Mitzvah goreret Mitzvah, one mitzvah leads to […]

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