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From the Desk of Rabbi Alter

Kol Colchester Parshat Behar, May 22 2019

The land will give its fruit and you will eat to satiation,” (Lev. 26:5). One of the blessings the Torah promises us is an abundance of wealth. It is interesting that it is followed by a second blessing: that we will not only be blessed with wealth,

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Kol Colchester Parshat Emor, May 15 2019

In this week’s portion, we find the commandment to sanctify God’s name – Kiddush Hashem. In essence, this entails living in such a way that others recognize Godliness in our actions and feel drawn to act similarly. Specifically, Maimonides talks about someone who is scrupulously honest in

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Kol Colchester. Parshat Acharei Mot May 2 2019

This week’s portion presents an interesting combination of themes: the service in the Temple on the holiest day of the year, Yom Kippur, and the laws of sexual immorality. The simple lesson here is that the foundation of being a holy person is the control of one’s

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Kol Colchester, Passover April 22 2019

Quite the shortest route for the children of Israel to the Promised Land would have been through the land of the Philistines. However, G‑d wanted to give the newly born Jewish nation the opportunity to throw off the remnants of Egyptian influence, and to educate them in the new ways of

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Kol Colchester, Parshat Metzora April 11, 2019

Parshat Metzora describes the consequences of negative speech, loshon hara. “Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me.” Whoever made that one up is either naive or deaf. While we might tell our children not to be bothered, the reality is that words

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Kol Colchester, Parshat Tazria, April 7 2019

The affliction of tzara’at comes primarily as a result of loshon hara – talking badly about others. The Sages make an amazing statement in the Talmud. They say that to speak negatively about another person is worse than murder. I think everyone would agree that it is terrible to speak negatively

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Kol Colchester, Parshat Tzav March 21 2019

One of the commandments in this week’s Torah portion is to remove the ashes from the Altar. Certain parts of the sacrifices were burned and the ashes were removed by the priests every day before sunrise. This was the only part of the Temple service that was

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Kol Colcheser, Parshat Vayikra, March 13 2019

The leftovers of the Mincha offering were to be given to Aharon and his sons. These were the Kohanim, members of the tribe of Levi. Now, of course, the Levites worked in the temple, but there were so many of them that as a result, there was

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Kol Colchester Parshat Pekudei

Parshat Pekudei tells about Betzalel, the man who supervised the design and construction of the Tabernacle. The name Betzalel literally means “in the shadow of God.” This name alludes to his architectural ability, which came through understanding the code of how God combined Hebrew letters to create

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Kol Colchester Parshat Yavakhel 2-27-19

As we conclude the Book of Exodus, we are given a list of all the gifts the Jewish nation gave to build the Temple: “gold, silver … precious gems.” The midrash points out that of all the donations made to the Temple, the mirrors that were used

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