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Off The Pulpit: Current NewsletterRabbi David Wolpe   "The Story of Rabbi Hiyya"
by Rabbi David Wolpe


Judaism may seem abstract, but the things that keep it alive are very concrete. If you cannot pay for food and clothes, for the lights and the rooms, the desks and the books, the ideas have nowhere to take root. This deep truth is expressed in a powerful story about Rabbi Hiyya. 
 
The Talmud relates that once in frustration Rabbi Hanina said to Rabbi Hiyya, "How can you argue with me? If the Torah were ever forgotten from Israel, I could reconstruct it with my logic." Rabbi Hiyya’s reply? "Perhaps, but I ensure it will not be lost. I cultivate flax, spin thread, twist ropes, and prepare traps by means of which I catch deer. The flesh of these I distribute among poor orphans, and I use the hides to make parchment, on which I write the Torah. Provided with this I go to places where there are no teachers, and instruct the children" (Ket. 103b). 
 
Rabbi Hiyya reminds us that Torah requires a practical bent. Synagogues and schools depend upon contributions. Ideas need homes just as people do. We can understand why the author of the Mishna, Rabbi Judah the Prince, exclaimed "How great are the works of Rabbi Hiyya!" 

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Download Past Off The Pulpit newsletters below.

 

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Writings By Year: 2015 -  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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Sinai Temple is a partnership between its clergy, staff, lay leaders and devoted members who are committed to supporting the tradition and vision of Sinai Temple. Your gift to Sinai Temple will enable us to continue these holy tasks for years to come. Thank you for helping us to bring our history, our beliefs and our promise to a new generation.
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