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Rabbi David Wolpe
Rabbi David Wolpe

Parashat Re'eh

Can We Still Be Hopeful About the World? 

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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 2010
Return to Top
Fastened to Flesh and Bone
Good Work
On Not Being a Blockhead
November 2010
Return to Top
Not Optimistic But Very Hopeful
The Knife and the Scalpel
October 2010
Return to Top
The Knife and the Scalpel
Acts of Love
Laughter
Back To Stone?
September 2010
Return to Top
Life Giving Contradictions
Thinking About Death?
A High Holiday Story
The Watchtower
August 2010
Return to Top
The Drive-By Sin
Why the Land of Israel?
I Am Honest
July 2010
Return to Top
Be Dissatisfied
The Neverending Story
Guarding The Dream
Deep Questions
June 2010
Return to Top
Transformational Teaching
RSVP
May 2010
Return to Top
Wisdom is Easy.  Change is Hard.
Israel's Real Story
When NoOne is Watching
Slower is Better
April 2010
Return to Top
The Top of the Tell
What You Get to Choose
Fixing Politics
Stand Up Straight
March 2010
Return to Top
What to Pray For
The Shape of Human Hearts
February 2010
Return to Top
Animal Rights and Wrongs
Laughter Lasts Longer
Wearing the Mask of Truth
Their Stories Are Ours As Well
January 2010
Return to Top
Yearning To Learn
Going It Alone
Condemning Others
Loving Far, Too
 
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2005 - 2006 - 2007 - 2008 - 2009 - 2010 - 2011
Jan - Feb - Mar - Apr - May - Jun - Jul - Aug - Sep - Oct - Nov - Dec
 
 
torah This Week's Torah Portion: Parashat Re'eh
candle lighting Friday Night Candle Lighting: 7:13p
havdalah 8:12p Havdalah (42 min): Saturday, August 23rd, 2014
holiday Upcoming Holiday: Erev Rosh Hashana is on Wednesday, September 24th, 2014
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