Messages by Rabbi Michael Barclay

110 of 22 items

Torah portion: Wake up!

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CLICK HERE to read the article at JewishJournal.com Guard and listen to all these words that I command you, in order that it be well with you and your children after you forever (Deuteronomy 12:28). This week’s portion, Re’eh, contains a break in Moses’ speeches about Jewish history and destiny. Here he reminds our people […]

The Big Choice

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CLICK HERE to read the article at JewishJournal.com I’ve always held the belief that if three or more diverse cultures have the same teaching, that teaching may be worthwhile and worth exploring. Nearly every tradition in the world teaches that all personal choices are, at their deepest level, based on choosing between faith and fear; […]

Torah portion: Becoming a distinguished people

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CLICK HERE to read the article at JewishJournal.com “You shall be holy, for I am holy” — Leviticus 11:45 I always find that Parashat Shemini inspires young people to ask questions. “Why did Aaron’s sons have to die?” “Why can’t I have a drink and get a little tipsy if it will help me enjoy […]

Chanukah: Filling our lives with an ancient light

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CLICK HERE to read the article at JewishJournal.com When we are children, Chanukah often seems the most important holiday — after all, we get gifts and chocolate coins. As adults, we learn that Chanukah commemorates a military victory as well as the miracle of the everlasting oil, and that it signifies our commitment to filling […]

Each day is a choice: Parashat Bereshit (Genesis 1:1-6:8)

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CLICK HERE to read the article at JewishJournal.com Only a couple of weeks ago, we were all feeling the holiness of Yom Kippur. By the end of the day of fasting, beautiful music, insightful teachings and prayers that deepened our self-awareness, we were remembering the real priorities in life. We had committed — to ourselves […]

Explaining Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur (Thousand Oaks Acorn)

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CLICK HERE to read the article on the Thousand Oaks Acorn site Every year around this time, Jews throughout the Conejo and Las Virgenes valleys begin to be concerned with something called the High Holidays. But what are these holidays, what are they about, why do they seem to come up at different times every […]

“Because I say so”: Parashat Chukat (Numbers 19:1-22:1)

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CLICK HERE to read the article at JewishJournal.com “This is the decree [chukat] of the Torah” (Numbers 19:2). Isn’t it amazing how, as we get older, our parents seem to become wise? It is the responsibility of any good parent to guide their child. But when the child asks for a reason whythey should or […]