Celebrate!

Though the new cycle of Israel's feasts has concluded, I'd like to share one more observation about last week's high holy day, Yom Kippur. It is a day on which adults are afflicting themselves by fasting, abstaining from all pleasures, and repenting. But for the children, Yom Kippur is a very different holiday. This day is my son Obi's favorite holiday! Why? Because the kids are not fasting or recalling their sins or suffering at all – they are celebrating freedom!

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Our Goel Lives!

As we continue our study in Ruth during this Shavout season, the theme of redemption is prevalent. We read that Boaz became Naomi and Ruth's "kinsman redeemer", or "goel" - from the Hebrew, "lig'ol", to redeem, receive or buy back. In the Torah, a provision had been made for the poor person who was forced to sell part of his property or even himself (into slavery).

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It's Washed Away!

As Scotland was declaring its independence from England in the 1300's, the English were hunting for Robert Bruce of Scotland in an attempt to prevent his accession to the Scottish throne. In the search, the English put Bruce's own bloodhounds on his trail. As they grew closer to apprehending him, Robert the Bruce found a small river, and he said to his foster-brother who was with him, "Let us wade down this stream for a great way, instead of going straight across, and so these unhappy hounds will lose the scent; for if we were once clear of them, I should not be afraid of getting away from the pursuers."

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