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Shabbat Message

 The Power of Your Words

How important is it to G-d when you make a promise?  What's the difference to G-d between a promise and a vow you make?  What are the consequences of broken promises?  Rabbi Jim answers these questions in this teaching from Joshua 9:10 given on October 17, 2015.

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Weekly Torah Portion


 November 15 - November 21, 2015  

Kislev 3 - Kislev 9, 5776

Torah  Genesis 28:10-32:2

Haftorah  Hosea 12:12-14:10

B’rith Hadoshah  Matthew 3:13-4:11

(Click the links above to read Passage)



Finding purpose, following the call

Have you ever had those days when you wondered where you were going in life? I have had days when I wondered why I was even put on this earth. Wouldn’t it be nice if God could just spell it out for us like he did for the prophet Jeremiah?

At the tender age of 24, God tapped Jeremiah on the shoulder and said: I have appointed you to be a prophet. Notice the past tense, because this isn’t a new idea. 

“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you;                                    Before you were born, I separated you for myself.”

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Surviving betrayal

You will get stabbed in the back at least once in your life.

Sorry to be so blunt, but one is usually blindsided by betrayal. I mean, if you knew it was going to happen, you would do something about it, right? The real twisting of the knife is that it usually comes from one whom you would least expect:  Someone you trusted, someone who was supposed to watch your back, maybe even someone to whom you gave your heart. Instead, he or she was unfaithful. Some get stuck in the shock, pain, anger and bitterness.  

While such an experience will always be painful, knowing that it will occur can help you prepare for it so that when it does happen, you know how to respond and not get derailed by the experience. We can get great insight from Moses, who was stabbed in the back many times by the Israelites as he led them from Egypt to the Promised Land. While there were times he thought about leaving the ungrateful lot on the back side of a sand dune, he usually managed to rise above it. The Korach Rebellion is a prime example.

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