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From the Desk of Rabbi Alter

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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Kol Colchester, Parshat Vayigash Dec 12 2018

This week’s Torah portion describes the confrontation between two of the leaders of the Jewish people, Yosef and Yehuda, and it seems that Yosef is the victor. The entire future of the nation was in Yosef’s hands; in fact, as long as he remained alive, Yosef played

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Kol Colchester, Mieitz, Dec 6 2018

Joseph was sold as a slave. His employer’s wife tried to seduce him, but he withstood her advances. His reward for doing so? He was thrown into the deepest darkest prison in existence — the Devil’s Island of his time. Finally, a chink of light appeared —

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Kol Colchester Parshat Vayishlach 11-24-18

Jacob saw his brother, Esau, for the first time after many years of hiding from him. During their childhood, Esau was angry at Jacob because he thought that Jacob had stolen his birthright. Jacob now wanted to give Esau some of his flocks as a peace offering,

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Kol Colchester, November 6 2018, Parshat Toldot

In this week’s Torah portion, we see that while Esau is a man of violent nature, Jacob is very much his opposite. The Sages tell us that even in the womb, when Rebecca passed a Temple of idols, Esau would be pushing to get out, and when

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Kol Colchester November 2, 2018

Avraham says to Eliezer] “And I will have you swear by Hashem, God of heaven and God of earth, that you not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell.” (Gen. 24:3) After the Akeida, Avraham resolved to seek

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Kol Colchester 10-27-18

We’ve all made mistakes and bad decisions in life and unfortunately we sometimes have a problem getting those mistakes out of our system. This week, the Torah warns us that looking back and focusing too much on the past can result in spiritual and physical stagnation. Lot’s

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