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Rabbi David Wolpe
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Parashat Re'eh

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Off The Pulpit: Current NewsletterRabbi David Wolpe   "Following Your Heart"
by Rabbi David Wolpe


The first piece of land purchased in Israel is the cave of Machpelah that Abraham buys to bury Sarah. Of course, Abraham too, will be buried there, as will Isaac and Rebekah and Jacob and Leah. So while the first plot of land in Israel is an acknowledgment of the sovereignty of death it is also a marker of the eternity of love. 
 
Love in the Torah is more often enacted than explained. When God tells Abraham to go, God uses L'cha, which is singular. Abraham takes Sarah, for they are one. In traditional couplings there are separations and sacrifices and complications galore. Nonetheless, as he points to his wife Rachel, Rabbi Akiba tells his students, "What I am and what you are you owe to her." 
 
Perhaps that is why the sages teach us that, "had the Torah not been given, the Song of Songs would have been worthy to guide the world." Love poetry seems a strange sort of legislation. Yet in what the medieval sage Bachya Ibn Pakuda called "the duties of the heart," there is a powerful pathway to the secrets of one's own soul, to another, and to God.

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Download Past Off The Pulpit newsletters below.

 

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Writings By Year:  2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009 - 2008 - 2007 - 2006 - 2005
Jan - Feb - Mar - Apr - May - Jun - Jul - Aug - Sep - Oct - Nov - Dec

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December 2007
Sparks in the Darkness
Do not Mock our Dreamers
Why Place Stones on Graves?
When First We Practice to Deceive
November 2007
Please Don't Forget
Two Jews, Three Opinions
The First Bad Thing
Do I Have to Listen to the Sermon?
A Spiritual Moment
What Shall We Do With The Child?
October 2007
Return to Top
What Stirs the Soul
Paradox of Growth
Against Forgetting
Piety at the University?
September 2007
Return to Top
Don't Worry - Be Happy?
Hearts and Ladders
Listening to Silence
August 2007
Everyday Miracles
Gazing on Tyrants with a Dazzled Eye
Feel Bad About Yourself
The Castle is Ablaze
Families and Magic
July 2007
Return to Top
Taking off the Veil
Past and Future Together
Relearning the Lesson
The Joys of Unworldliness
June 2007
Who is a Tabula Rasa?
Whole Clothes and Torn Hearts
Forty Years On We Remain Thankful
May 2007
Return to Top
Bearing the Burden
Love and Life
The Hardest Moment
April 2007
I'm Spiritual, but I'm not Religious
Where Are the Miracles?
The Most Astounding Statement
Contracts and Covenants
March 2007
Return to Top
Off the Pulpit Special Edition: "Atheism du Jour"
Why Matzah?
Take Your Time
Can We 'Prove' Our Faith?
Are You Really Free?
A Prayer Must Both Mean, and Be
February 2007
Letting Our Children Fail
Can You Prove There Is a God?
The Perils of Leadership
Should We Ever Doubt God's Justice?
January 2007
Return to Top
Saving a Life
Looking into the Face of the Other
Being a Messiah
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2005 - 2006 - 2007 - 2008 - 2009 - 2010 - 2011
Jan - Feb - Mar - Apr - May - Jun - Jul - Aug - Sep - Oct - Nov - Dec
 
 
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