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From the Desk of Rabbi Alter

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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Kol Colchester, Parshat Vayelech, September 14 2018

I love the song Dear Prudence,” from the White Album? I am told that the song came from when the Beatles were in Bangor with the Maharishi. There was a girl there called Prudence who went into a coma and the song was written for her: “Look

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Kol Colchester, Parshat Ki Tavo, August 30, 2018

And you shall take of the first of every fruit of the ground… (Deut. 26:2) The Parsha begins with the commandment of Bikkurim, the first fruits. The farmer is to take his first ripened fruits to the temple and present them to the Cohen. The Midrash teaches

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Kol Colchester, Shoftim August 17 2018

Every person has one thing that he is living for. Let’s call it a “personal bottom line.” For some it is money, for others prestige, for others pursuit of pleasure. Now let’s imagine that you’re faced with a situation where you are about to lose everything –

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Kol Colchester, Parshat Ekev, August 2 2018

Parshat Ekev tells of the special mitzvah to love converts. Converts hold a special status in Jewish life, since they did the heroic deed of leaving their familiar surroundings, and casting their destiny with the Jewish people. Many of our greatest ancestors – Abraham, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel

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