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From the Desk of Rabbi Alter

Kol Colchester Parhat Naso May 24 2018

The Torah states: “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘So shall you bless the Children of Israel: saying to them, “May God bless you and safeguard you. May God make His countenance shine upon you and be gracious to you. May God lift His countenance to

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Kol Colchester , Fourth Book Bamidbar May 12, 2018

Kol Colchester Bamidbar The fourth book of the Torah is known in English as “Numbers,” yet the true translation of Bamidbar is “in the desert.” The primal setting for the Torah is in a desert. The Sages tell us that one who wishes to truly understand Torah’s

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Kol Colchester Parshat Archarel Mot Kedoshim

In this week’s Torah portion, God gives the Jewish people certain laws that will lead to them having a more fulfilling life. One of the laws is: “In the presence of an old person shall you rise…” (Lev. 19:32) A LIFE LESSON Rising in the presence of

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Kol Colchester, Parshat Shemini Laws of Kashrut

Food plays a major role in Jewish life. Imagine a wedding or bar mitzvah without food. It would be like a pub with no alcohol. What would be the point? For a culture that is so focused on food, then, it makes sense to have many rules

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Kol Colchester, Passover edition

This is the bread of affliction that our fathers ate in the land of Egypt.” Seder night is the night we all gather together and, well, complain! The Haggadah wants you to know how bad they had it back in Egypt. Oy, the matzah! Strange. Very strange

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Kol Colchester, Parshat Vayikra, March 15 2018

Parshat Vayikra discusses the “Oleh v’Yored” offering – literally the “up-and-down” offering – so called because it had three levels, based on one’s financial ability: A wealthy person would bring a cow; a middle-class person brings a bird; and a poor person brings an offering of flour.

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Kol Colchester Parshat Vayakhel Pekudei

Kol Colchester Parshat Vayakhel Pekudei Moses asked the Jewish people to donate gold, silver and copper for the construction of the Tabernacle. Seemingly, the most valuable and precious of these metals was gold, second was silver, and most plentiful and least valuable was copper. But each of

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Kol Colchester Parshat Ki Tisa 3-1-18

Kol Colchester Parshat Ki Tisa The story of the Golden Calf is one of the most incredibly honest stories told by any religion. The Jewish people experience the seminal moment in its history – direct communication with God at Mount Sinai – and 40 days later, they

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Kol Colchester, Parshat Tetzaveh February 20 2018

Parshat Tetzaveh When lighting the menorah in the Tabernacle, Aaron the High Priest is commanded to “raise the flame” of each of the seven lights. Rashi, commenting on this enigmatic expression, explains it to mean that Aaron should hold the light by the menorah until the flame

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Kol Colchester Parshat Trumah, February 14 2018

Parshat Trumah begins with God’s instruction to “take a donation” for the Tabernacle. This sounds strange. Shouldn’t the Torah have instructed us to “give a donation”? The explanation is that giving ― for the right reason and to a proper recipient ― is also a form of taking. You

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