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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 2008
Kids Today
The World’s Most Humble Man
The Angel’s Blessing
Knowing What’s Best
Returning Home
November 2008
Return to Top
God's Gift or Our Own?
Fleeing From God
A Childhood Snapshot
The Story of a Fateful Vote
October 2008
Fate and Faith
Socrates and Abraham
Hakarat Hatov
Failing Better
Coming Down the Mountain
September 2008
Return to Top
Restoring Wholeness
Why Faith Matters
Come Back Soon
Judging People by Potential
August 2008
When Will the Messiah Come?
Don’t Cry Out Loud
The Indispensable Community
Beast and Human
July 2008
Return to Top
A Shattering Statement
Anguish and Art
Who Needs a Messiah?
Safe in Hebrew
Cellphones and Torah
June 2008
Joy to the World
Tied to One Another
Both Sides Now
Children of the Wilderness
May 2008
Return to Top
Our Wider Purpose
Titanic Difference
I'm So Proud of Me
Fads and Forever
Abundance and Limitations
April 2008
In Need of Mazel?
Passover and Parenting
Screens and Solitude
Stop — For God's Sake
March 2008
Return to Top
Face to Face
Sinning Every Day?
The Testimony of Children
Before and After
February 2008
Starting out in the Evening
What You See and What You Hear
Come with Us for Israel’s Sake
Good Fortune
January 2008
Return to Top
A Path for Life
Double Vision
If I Were a Rich Man
Getting Your Facts Straight
Arrogance and Imperfections
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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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