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Chabad on Campus

There is a lesson to be learned from everyone and everything we encounter. It is just a matter of trying to find it...

Being Whole: Parshat Nitzavim

Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - 2:02 pm
Posted by Mrs. Sara Esther Crispe

bicycle-wheel-424.jpgWhat does it mean to be part of a community? That we share something in common? We are similar?

Every year, in the Torah portion that is read the Shabbat preceding Rosh Hashana, we speak of coming together as a people, as a community, before our Creator.

The Hebrew word for a community is tzibur and the four letters that spell it represent three different types of people according to the 17th century Kabbalist, Rabbi Nathan Nata Shapiro. The first letter, tzaddik, is for one who is righteous. The middle letter, beit, represents the beinoni who is the intermediate one, then there is the vav which means “and” and grammatically is a conjunction, and finally... ( Read More » )

Open Your Eyes: Parshat Re'eh

Thursday, August 22, 2013 - 9:00 am
Posted by Mrs. Sara Esther Crispe

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When I was in college the trick was to see just how little money I needed to get through the week. Sound familiar?
So when it comes to giving charity, it is easy to think that a college student would be exempt. To give you would need to be in a position that you have extra, right? Wrong.
In this week’s Torah portion of Re’eh we are taught that we all have an obligation to help another. It doesn’t matter who we are, or what situation we find ourselves in, there is always something we can do, some way we can better another&rsq... ( Read More » )

Time is Relative: Chai Elul

Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - 2:29 pm
Posted by Mrs. Sara Esther Crispe

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We usually think of a day as 24 hours. But there are certain days that represent so much more. And time is relative. The hour you sit through a boring class feels like an eternity whereas that hour with your best friend seems over seconds after it started.

This week we celebrate the 18th of the month of Elul. The number 18 is popular in Judaism because it is numerical value of the word for ‘life’, ‘chai’ (this is why you probably got a lot of $18 checks for your bat or bar mitzvah!) So the 18th of Elul is considered the life of the month of Elul—the month that precedes Rosh Hashana, the beginning of our New Year. It also commemorates the birthdays of the Baal Shem Tov, the found of the Chassidic movement,... ( Read More » )

Building Fences: Parshat Ki Teitzei

Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - 2:31 pm
Posted by Mrs. Sara Esther Crispe

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The other week a woman in NYC and her date went up to a rooftop to hang out. She leaned against the railing, it gave way, and tragically the woman plunged to her death.

This week’s Torah portion, Ki Teitzei, commands us that when we build a home or structure of any kind we must put a strong fence around the perimeter to protect one from falling. Then as now, this fence can be the difference between life and death.

The safety precaution is the obvious lesson. But everything the Torah teaches is open to multiple levels of understanding.

Looking at this commandment, we have to understand what the “roof” is referring to. It is the highest place of a building. The roof of our bodies would be our minds. So we should... ( Read More » )

Learning to Empathize: The Month of Elul

Tuesday, August 6, 2013 - 2:40 pm
Posted by Mrs. Sara Esther Crispe

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This is a big month. Elul. It precedes Rosh Hashana, the New Year, and is our chance to make amends, reflect, introspect and prepare. But it is not just about looking within—it is specifically the time to look outside of ourselves. And in doing so, we come to look more within than we ever could have imagined.

The month of Elul is called the month of mercy. The Hebrew the word for ‘mercy’—rachamim—is also understood as empathy. We often confuse sympathy with empathy, but they are vastly different.... ( Read More » )


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