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Lost and Found (Nitzavim/Rosh Hashana)

Preview: What do the wayward city (עיר הנדחת), the accidental murderer (רוצח בשוגג), the return of lost objects (השבת אבדה), and the ingathering of exiles (קבוץ גלויות) all have in common? About ten things, actually—including the theme of “going astray” (נדח); “losing and finding” (אבד/מצא); “seeking” or “searching” (מבקש/דרש); “closeness,” “distance,” and the “edge of the hearth/heavens” (קרב/רחק/קצה הארץ והשמים); and “returning” (שוב). More on the remarkable relationship between these passages in the following quick write up…

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The End (Shemini Atzeret)

Preview: Pay close attention and you’ll realize that the passage of ve-hayah im shamoa, recited daily as part of shema, describes a very specific period of the year: namely, the season of Sukkot. How might this realization illuminate the meaning of Shemini Atzeret?

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