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From the Desk of Rabbi Alter

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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Kol Colchester Parshat Tetzaveh

In the Holy Temple, the clothes worn by the kohanim (priests) were a simple affair – robe, pants, hat and belt. All of them completely white. That was it. Enough to do the job of clothes – cover the nakedness – but no more. Apparently, clothes maketh not the

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Kol Colchester, Parshat Trumah, Feb 6 2019

The command to build the tabernacle (the precursor to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem) is given in a slightly strange way: “Make for me a Sanctuary and I will dwell within you.” It would seem to make more sense to say, “Make for me a Sanctuary and

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Kol Colchester, Parshat Yitro, Jan 22 2019

The first of the Ten Commandments is, “I am the Lord your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt…” The Sages ask: What exactly is this commanding us to do? Surely, it is a statement, not a commandment. As a result, some commentaries answer

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Kol Colchester Parshat Beshalach January 17 20119

Parshat Beshalach tells how the Jewish people have left Egypt and are heading out into the desert, when suddenly they find Pharaoh and his troops chasing after them. The Jews become frightened, and declare: “We’d rather be slaves in Egypt!” This is a shocking statement, given that

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Kol Colchester, Parshat Vayera, Jan 4 2019

It is quite unbelievable that Pharaoh can fail to learn over and over again. Every time, at the height of the plague, he sees his mistake, and sincerely decides to let the Jewish people go. But as soon as the pain has gone, he is back to

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Kol Colchester, December 18 2018

Right before Jacob passed away, he asked his son, Joseph, to promise him that he would be buried in Israel and not in Egypt. Joseph immediately said: “I will personally do as you have said” (Genesis 47:30).  A LIFE LESSON We’ve all had the experience after being told

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