Article Summaries of Editors' Picks

Staying on Track
The Zohar
Aaron was the right arm of Israel. The clouds of glory that directed the Jew's path in the desert were in Aaron's merit and departed when he passed away. The Jews then wandered aimlessly like a person lacking a forearm, who has to support himself at every place possible to avoid falling.
Exile of Supernal Knowledge
The Holy Ari
Parashat VaYelech describes G‑d's final admonitions to Moses before his death, including reproaching Moses for having allowed a "mixed multitude" of gentiles to leave Egypt together with the Jews, on his own authority. This multitude was in fact not ready for this spiritual leap and caused much trouble during the forty-year trek in the desert.
To Be Read by the King
Mystical Classics
The commandment of Hakhel, the public reading of the Torah by an Israelite king, is found in this Torah portion. The mystical dimension of this commandment is that all people who exist at that time are called to appear before G-d, the King of the universe; therefore it had to be performed by our earthly king, who represents the King in the celestial spheres.
A World of Kindness
Chasidic Masters
After death, in the world to come, teshuva can achieve nothing. The sinner must undergo various purification processes including Purgatory before he can merit ascent into the Garden of Eden.

But in this world, he can absolve himself of the need for any such purification in one moment of sincere heartfelt teshuva. One can go from the depths of impurity to the heights of holiness in an instant, as did Rabbi Elazar son of Durdaya, thereby acquiring a place in the next world to take pleasure in the radiance of the Divine.
Standing and Walking with G‑d
Contemporary Kabbalists
"...the heads of your tribes, your elders, your officers, every man of Israel, your children, your women, your proselyte who is in your camp, from your woodchoppers to your water carriers."

Even though the term "all of you" itself implies all types and categories of Jews, the Torah additionally and explicitly lists the various divisions of the Jewish people, Even as we experience ourselves as part of one collective body, we must still be aware of our differences, what others lack, and how we can help them.
Making the Year's End Count
Ascent Lights
This Shabbat is the last Shabbat of the year, an excellent opportunity to correct any lacking in our Shabbat observance in the past year.

The Zohar teaches that Shabbat is the vessel for blessings of the week that follows it. Therefore, how we maximize this coming Shabbat will have a qualitative impact on how we spend Rosh Hashanah, in turn having a positive affect for the entire new year, G-d willing.
The One-Pound Penance
Mystic Story

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