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Off The Pulpit: Current NewsletterRabbi David Wolpe   "The Secret of Elijah"
by Rabbi David Wolpe


A disciple of the Baal Shem Tov yearned to meet Elijah, herald of redemption. The Baal Shem Tov told him it could happen. All he needed to do was to go to the home of a very poor but pious family that lived in the forest, bring them food and wine for Rosh Hashanah, eat and pray with them, and at the end of the holiday Elijah would appear. 
 
The Hasid did as he was told. But at the end of the holiday, Elijah did not arrive. Returning to ask why his request had not been granted, the Baal Shem told him, "It does not happen all at once. Now for each of the ten days of repentance, bring more food. Then before Yom Kippur supply them with enough to sustain the family so they can fast. Sit and pray and fast with them, and at havdalah after Yom Kippur when you sing to Elijah, you will receive what you wish." 
 
Once more the man did as the Baal Shem instructed; he brought food and fasted and prayed. Yet when Yom Kippur ended, Elijah did not appear. He returned dispirited to his teacher. "Why was I not granted a vision?" he asked. "Because," answered the Baal Shem, "it was not important that you see Elijah. It was important that you be Elijah." 
 
All of us have the power to bring hope and help to others in need. We can herald redemption. This year, be Elijah.

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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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