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Back in 1996, Rabbi Finman was asked to speak to the niece of one of his students. After spending many hours answering her questions, the woman gave Rabbi Finman her e-mail address. Rabbi Finman wrote the woman a note and included in it a short insight into that week's Parsha and a short Chasidic story.

Realizing that this was something no one was yet doing,, Rabbi Finman sent the missive to his mailing list of about 30 people. Requests from recipients friends came pouring in. The next week Rabbi Finman sent the e-Parsha to 100 people. Within a year more than 2000 people were receiving it. Today, more than 14,000 receive the e-Parsha weekly and the requests keep coming in.

Noach 5778
Succos 5778
Yom Kipper 5778
Ntizavim/Vayelech 5777
Ki Savo 5777

Ki Savo 5777

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In memory of Bennie Magy - Bentziyon ben Avraham v Elke Magy, who passed away Menachem Av 22, 5749 - August 23, 1989 and Rose Magy - Rivka Rayzel Bat Chayim Yaakov v'Chaya Tertza Arbit, who passed away Tamuz 2, 5765 - July 9, 2005. May their souls experience a lichtiger Gan Eden - an illuminated Garden of Eden and may their family only experience Simchas from now on. Sponsored by their son Paul Magy - Birmingham, Michigan.

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This week's YouParsha Ki Savo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmSotglY-ew Bikurim - the first fruits and raising children

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This week's Parsha is Ki Savo, Deuteronomy 26 - 30. Moshe tells the Jewish people, "On this day Hashem, your G-d, commanded you to do all the commandments, to love and to fear him." The verse does not explicitly say which day is "this day". The Jewish people renewed their covenant with Hashem before they entered the land of Israel. Moshe ordered the Jewish people to rededicate themselves to the principles of Torah and Judaism.

This Parsha is always read two weeks before Rosh Hashanah as an indication that prior to the new year it is incumbent on each individual to renew their commitment to Judaism. One might ask, "I did that last year. I do that every morning. Do I have to do it again?" The answer is alluded to in the name of the holiday, Rosh - meaning head, Hashanah, not New Years Day or Beginning of the year. The head contains and maintains a connection with every part of the body, from the top of the scalp to the bottom of the soles. The head is particular to that body. So too, the year is a unique entity. The verse describes the Land of Israel as having, "The eyes of G-d upon it from the beginning of the year to the end of the year." The end of this year is the beginning of next year. The verse should have simply said, "Upon it always."

The beginning of the year marks a new appropriation of vitality, unique to that year. As the year comes to a close, the vitality appropriated is depleted. The sound of the shofar indicates the time for the new appropriation to be meted out. The rosh, or head, of the year contains the vitality unique to that year. What one did last year is only good for last year. This is a new year, with new vitality, new beginnings and new potential.

May this year, 5778 years since the birth of Adam, be one filled with joy and peace, prosperity and good health and the final arrival of our righteous redeemer.

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People often complain of the amount of praying required during the high holidays. Prayer is an expression of the heart, as illustrated by the following story:

Each year, Reb Levi Yitschok of Berditchev was given the job of blowing the shofar for the congregation. One year, the congregation anxiously anticipated the sounds of the ram's horn. Reb Levik held the shofar in his hands for quite an extended time. He put the shofar to his mouth, but did not blow. He put the shofar down again and waited. This unusual occurrence caused quite a commotion. After several minutes, Reb Levik picked up the shofar and blew it with such precision that people commented on that year's blowing.

At the meal following the service, someone asked Reb Levi Yitschok about the unusual shofar blowing. The Berdichever respond: In the environs of Berditchev lives an uneducated, 14 year old, Jewish farm hand. He rose one day to begin his chores and the boss told him, "Not today, today is Rosh Hoshana. Today we will go to Berditchev and daven for a good year." Happy at the prospect of a day off, the farm hand was eager to go.

When they arrived in the synagogue, the prayers had already begun. The boy was handed a siddur - a prayer book, and took a seat in the back of the shul. He was overwhelmed by the sight of all the people so devoutly engrossed in their prayers. He opened the siddur and looked at the words. It had been many years since he had looked at a book. The letters seemed like a massive array of squiggles. He wanted to pray, but not knowing how, he closed the siddur and turned his voice heavenward.

"Master of the Universe," he began. "I am an uneducated farm hand. I want to pray. I don't remember how. I do remember the Aleph Bais (Hebrew alphabet). I will say the letters of the aleph bais over and over. You, dear G-d, arrange the letters for me into prayers." That's what the young man did. He recited aleph, beis, gimmel, etc many times over.

Levy Yitschok then told the crowd that the reason for the unusual delay in the morning's shofar blowing was because he needed to wait for the Almighty to finish arranging the letters into prayers.

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The e-Parsha is sponsored:

By Pamela Goldberg in honor of a special Elul occurrence: her daughter Rivka Naomi bas Rochel's birthday on the 22nd. Happy birthday and happy and healthy year.

Tune into the JEWISH HOUR - Detroit's only Jewish radio program, with your host, Herschel Finman. Sundays 11:00 - Noon on WLQV 1500 AM/92.7 FM - Detroit and www.faithtalk1500.com. Now available at the iTunes store and on your smartphone - download the free stitcher app.

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