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Kiddush Hashem– The Talmud Yerushalmi (Bava Metzi’ah 2:5) impresses upon us that performing Kiddush Hashem is in fact imperative and possibly even compulsory, outweighing even the Halakhah. It tells us stories of great Sages that went to extreme lengths in order to sanctify God’s name before a gentile. (Reviewed by R. Yisroel Belsky). עברית
Salvation – The Talmud Yerushalmi (Berachoth 1:1) teaches us that salvation is not instant, but in fact quite gradual. It likens the process of salvation to the manifestation of the light of the Ayelet ha-Shachar. Signs of salvation first manifest in small steps, often far apart from each other, but only with extended time do these steps become closer and more frequent.
Do not turn away– The Talmud Yerushalmi teaches us of the importance of keeping loyalty and giving priority to one’s kin. Rabbi Yossi Hagelili divorced his wife but provided her and her new husband a dwelling and sustenance for the rest of their lives because of the verse: “Do not turn away from your own flesh” (Isaiah 58:7). (Kethuboth 11:3)
Unity – The Unity of the Jewish People and their tolerance for each other is of cosmic import, so much so that God personally involved himself in the course of history and made sure that rivaling situations did not occur (Kiddushin 1:1)
Rosh Hashanah. The true spirit of Rosh Hashanah is forgiveness! Our confidence that we will be forgiven attests to the greatness of both our God and our People.
Yom Ha-Kippurim. We may find that many of our sins this year are not new ones but ones that we have repeated year after year. Disciplining our reflexes like Abraham did may allow us to break free of the cycle of sin when self-restrained continues to prove futile.
Prayer. The Rabbis were directed from above in identifying the candidate that will pray for Rain. Often they found that the candidate was not a Sage or a person of great stature, but a simple commoner and even sinner. It is not the quality of the person as much as the quality of his merits which move God to answer our prayers (Taanith 1:2)עברית (Hebrew version reviewed by R. Shlomo Aviner)
Stealing. Is stealing a little really better than stealing a lot?. The Generation of the Flood teaches us that it is often the small infractions which incur Divine Retribution. (Bava Metsi’ah 4:2)