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Posts by Rabbi Erez Sherman

Recite Hallel on Yom Ha’atzmaut


Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day is a modern holiday, 76-years-old. We mark our biblical and rabbinic festivals by adding liturgy in our daily services. The Rabbis ask, “Should we recite Hallel, Psalms of praise on Yom Ha’atzmaut?”

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Speak Up


I am a Columbia University alum. From 2000-2004, I studied music. Those four years were instrumental in the work I do as a Rabbi today, using music as a tool for engaging communities in Jewish life.

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The Purpose of Searching


On Sunday evening, we will search for the chametz in our homes. Over the past year, the chametz accumulated in places we know and places we do not know. We recite the declaration to nullify all that chametz that we see and all chametz that we do not see. We take one step further on the morning of the Seder and we burn the chametz to ensure it is not in our sight.

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Hidden Blessing


As a sixth grader at a Jewish day school, the Rabbi assigned me my first d’var Torah; Parshas Tazria. I had to find meaning in leprosy. Year after year when this parsha returns, I still tremble to find meaning in leprosy. Yet, we must look beyond a rash on the arm, and recognize that the Torah explains leprosy also appeared on the clothing and the homes of the afflicted.

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Questions and Answers


The Torah can be divided into two parts. The Rabbis teach, dorosh dorash Moshe, the first half of the Torah is Moses asking questions. That is the essence of Jewish education-asking questions, and that is the crux of our Pesach Seder. The Rabbis explain the second part of the Torah is vayishma Moshe, Moses listened and learned.

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Gratitude


Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel was asked during the Six Day War, “Why are you so dreadfully desperate?” His answer: “Imagine that in the entire world there remains one copy of the Bible and suddenly I see a brutal hand seize this copy, the only one in the world, and prepare to cast in in flames….”

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The Global Shema


Four years ago, the world shut down. I remember during the Seder that year, there was a global call to open our doors and windows and sing Eliyahu Hanavi, welcoming the prophet into our Passover in hope for a time of redemption.

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