In a certain study hall in Jerusalem, there was a Rabbi who would continually pace up and down between the lecterns, carrying on an intense conversation in learning … with himself! This was a delightful and sometimes amusing spectacle. As he paced, however, he was also aware of his surroundings. One day, I was explaining to my study partner my personal criterion for a good leader of the prayers, namely that he should make me cry. 


We are in the count-down – excuse me, the count up! – from Passover to Shavuos.

It’s amazing! It’s great! But there are so many things I don’t understand. 


The second summer after our marriage, years before we were observant, my wife and I were employed as fire lookouts in Crater Lake National Park, Oregon. We lived in a cabin on top of Mount Scott, 8,832 feet above sea level. Our view extended about 150 miles in each direction and we looked down on Crater Lake, one of the most beautiful spots you could imagine. 


 When children play hide and seek, they are looking for someone who's there. If he's not there, there's no game. 


"When you will go out to war against your enemies...." (Deuteronomy 21:10). Thus begins this week's Torah portion. We are learning a lot about war these days. 



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