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From the Desk of Rabbi Alter

Kol Colchester, Parshat Haazinu

In this week’s portion, God tells Moses to ascend Mount Nevo where he is to die “in the middle of the day.” The Sages explain that the Jewish people had decided they were not letting Moses go without a fight. He had taken them out of Egypt,

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Kol Colcheser Parshat Vayelech, Oct 4 2019

 Do you remember theis Beatles 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

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Kol Colchester, Parshat Ki Tavo, Sept 19 2019

One of the underlying themes of the Torah is the importance of developing a sense of gratitude, both to God for all the blessings He has given us, and to anyone who does anything for us. In fact, the Torah tells us that gratitude is one of

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Kol Colchester Parshat Softim, Sept 6 2019

As Moses comes to the end of his life he urges the Jewish nation to make sure its court system is established with “highly qualified judges who also have impeccable character” (Deut. 16:18). One of the ideas behind this is that knowledge is not enough. Our interactions

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Kol Colchester Parshat Reeh, 8-30-19

  “You shall surely open your hand” (Deut. 15:11). When the Torah tells us that we should help someone, it always uses the same Hebrew word twice. The English translation doesn’t quite account for this and translates it as “surely help.” Similarly, when the Torah tells us

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Kol Colchester Parshat Ekev

In this portion, Moses makes an amazing statement: “And now, Israel, what does God ask from you other than to fear Him…” (Deut. 10:12) Moses has just given us commandment, after commandment, after commandment in God’s name. And near the end of it all, what does he

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Kol Colchester, Parshat D’Varim

“The primary purpose of a man’s life is to constantly strive to improve break his character traits. Otherwise, what is life for?” Vilna Gaon – Even Shleimah (1:2) Every year the Jewish People prepares for Tisha B’Av with the Torah reading of Devarim. The focal point is

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Kol Colchester, Parshat Balak, July 15 2019

I will honor you greatly” (Numbers 22:17). We sometimes think that honor is something we deserve for the things we own, the clothes we wear, and the cars we drive, yet the Torah teaches us that true honor has nothing to do with those things. In fact,

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Kol Colchester, Parshat Korach July 4 2019

In praying to God on behalf of the Jewish people, Moses asks how it can be that one man (Korach) transgresses and God becomes upset with the entire nation. Does one man really affect the whole nation? The answer in Jewish thinking is, of course, yes. From

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Kol Colchester Parshat Bechukotai May 31 2019

The theme of Parshat Bechukotai is the “Tochacha” – a series of devastating predictions of what will befall the Jewish people throughout history – exile, anti-Semitism, persecution, and more. Yet we know how much the Almighty cares for us, and He never “punishes” without “sandwiching” it with

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