Rosh Chodesh Mar Cheshvan, 5771/October 8, 2010
Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur, the Days of Awe, are now behind us. We have emerged from the protective embrace of the sukkah, a new year has begun, and we are back in the world.
The sukkah is designed as a temporary dwelling, with spaces in the roof through which we can see the stars. The wind, the cold, the heat and the rain can all be felt inside the sukkah. Yet when the seven days of Sukkot have concluded, and we prepare to return to our well-built, insulated, climate-controlled houses, it is with a certain degree of trepidation. The sukkah, for all its flimsiness and impermanence, provides for us, from the moment we first enter it to the moment when we must take leave of it, an overwhelming, and at times even giddy, sense of physical safety and spiritual security. Suddenly our permanent dwellings seem insufficient as we face the new year. Why is this?
The sukkah, not in spite of, but because of its impermanence, reminds us that beyond our own four walls lies
It is no coincidence that on Simchat Torah, the very day we emerge from our sukkot, we begin anew the yearly reading of Torah, starting with the opening verses of Genesis, describing the world's creation. The very same sense of
This truth is made terrifyingly clear in parashat Noach (Genesis 6:9-11:32), which we will be reading this coming Shabbat. The generation of Noach was a generation that saw all around it a world of plenty. They lacked nothing, they had no want. But rather than properly attribute the world's bounty to
The generation of the tower of Bavel was one of instant communication. A single governing body ruled over all mankind. The technology to reach the stars was theirs, as was their assumed ability to be able to determine for themselves what is right and what is wrong. They had no need for
The parallels to today's world are undeniable. Our generation is building a tower whose bricks are baked with anarchy and whose mortar is a deadly mix of narcissism and hedonism. Ultimately it will all come tumbling down.
Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to remember that our permanent homes, our possessions and jobs, our health and well-being, just like our frail and unsubstantial sukkot, are entirely in the hand of
Tune in to this week's Temple Talk as Rabbi Chaim Richman and Yitzchak Reuven, out of the sukkah and back in the rain, welcome Mar Cheshvan, a month of great potential and the month of the third Holy Temple.
As we reflect upon the Sukkot that was and its theme of water, and as we read this week’s Torah portion of Noach and the flood, we also realize that this month of Cheshvan begins the rainy season in the Land of Israel. It is also the month that the floodwaters began to fall back in the days of Noach. But the Land of Israel brings the blessing of water to the entire world, and will one day serve as the "Noah’s ark" for all humanity.
The Temple Institute would like to thank all those who have donated to the special fund for the Imus Children, the seven orphans whose parents were brutally murdered by Palestinian terrorists on August 31. Those who would still like to contribute funds for these children may contact Rabbi Richman.
Today also features the new Light to the Nations teaching by Rabbi Chaim Richman, entitled, "The Attribute of Anger, Part I: Our sages tell us that when we lose our temper and allow ourselves to act out of anger, we are succumbing to a form of idolatry. Conversely, by emulating
The Week of the Rambam, Commemorating the 835th anniversary of Maimonides' historic ascent to the Temple Mount: October 10 -15, the Temple Institute will be celebrating Maimonides’ 6th of Cheshvan (Oct. 14th) ascent to the Temple Mount with articles posted daily describing the Rambam’s life and times, his visit to Israel and the Temple Mount, and the commandment of Mora Mikdash - showing reverence for
Meanwhile, click here to download our Week of the Rambam artwork.
All of creation is informed and animated by an overwhelming yearning for
Blessings from the holy city of Jerusalem,
The Temple Institute
Friday, October 08, 2010
G-d Called the Light Day
Posted by David Ben-Ariel at 5:45 AM