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by Rebbetzin Malkah
(this commentary was written in response to hurricane Katrina.)
As we continue through Devarim, we see the bulk of the commandments are revisited again in this week's Parashat R'eh. The parasha begins by presenting the choice to follow the mitzvot and receive blessing. If we should choose not to, we are left open to the negative consequences. Given that the concept of blessing is presented to us first, there is no mistaking the way in which Hashem wishes us to be motivated. The Children of Yisrael have the incredible option to "have it all" and be the winners of a physically and spiritually rich land - all by simply adhering to the mitzvot laid out by Moshe.
by Rebbetzin Malkah
Infinity. Philosophers, mathematicians, physicists and theologians have tried for centuries to wrap their minds around this idea. Symbolically represented as ∞, the definition of infinity is "unboundedness", or something without end. In Hebrew, it is called Ain Sof and has been the topic of many rabbinical discourses - all in reference to the Holy One. What is it about infinity, or ain sof, that captivates us? And how is it that mathematicians are able to pull this symbol into equations of relevance? How is it they and countless others harness this concept, dance with it, and return with something tangible? Whether we realize it or not, the Torah addresses this exact dance through Bris Milah, the Yoveil (Jubilee year), Shemini Atzeret, Chanukah, and the counting of the Omer into Shavuot. Through these special times, we experience what humans have been driving towards since the dawn of time: a taste of the Divine as we slip into the intangible, sublime realm of infinity and back.