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A Nudge From Hashem

28 Shevat 5777 – February 23, 2017
There are 613 commandments in the Torah. Why does Mishpatim, the first law code, begin where it does, concerned with slavery and freedom?

The Universality Of Wisdom

21 Shevat 5777 – February 16, 2017
In parshat Yitro, Israel receives its first system of governance: a hierarchical structure of authority with Moses at the top. Why did this important development come, as it were, from outside?

The Power Of Ruach

14 Shevat 5777 – February 9, 2017
What happens at the sea is poetic justice of the most exquisite kind. The powerful are now powerless, while the powerless have made their way to freedom.

The Necessity Of Asking Questions

6 Shevat 5777 – February 2, 2017
Judaism is not a religion of blind obedience. Astonishingly of 613 commandments, there is no Hebrew word that means “to obey.” Judaism is the rarest of phenomena: a faith based on asking questions,

The Cup Of Hope

28 Tevet 5777 – January 26, 2017
Pesach represents the start of the great journey of Jewish history – from slavery to freedom, Egypt to the Promised Land.

Who Am I?

22 Tevet 5777 – January 19, 2017
When Moses asks, “Who am I?” He feels himself unworthy and uninvolved. He may have been Jewish by birth, but he had not suffered the fate of his people. How, then, could he become their leader?

Jewish Time

15 Tevet 5777 – January 12, 2017
Only a civilization based on forgiveness can construct a future that is not an endless repetition of the past. That, surely, is why Judaism is the only civilization whose golden age is in the future.

The Disguises In Genesis

1 Tevet 5777 – December 29, 2016
Jacob, Leah, Tamar and Joseph discover that, though they may never win the affection they desire, G-d is with them and that, ultimately, is enough. A disguise hides one from others, but not from G-d

What Is The Theme Of The Stories Of Genesis?

23 Kislev 5777 – December 22, 2016
he first 11 chapters of Genesis teach us many fundamentals of faith; Exodus to Deuteronomy is about revelation and redemption. But what are Genesis 12-50 about?

The Jewish Journey

16 Kislev 5777 – December 16, 2016
Jacob is someone with whom we can identify and understand. We can feel his fear, understand his pain at the tensions in his family, and sympathize with his longing for a life of quietude and peace

The Birth Of The World’s Oldest Hate

8 Kislev 5777 – December 8, 2016
Laban’s behavior is the paradigm of anti-Semites through the ages. It was not so much what Laban did that the Haggadah is referring to, but what his behavior gave rise to, in century after century.

A Journey Of A Thousand Miles

23 Heshvan 5777 – November 24, 2016
Neither Abraham nor Sarah had an easy life. They faced trials testing their faith, yet Rashi says Sarah’s years were equal in goodness and the Torah says Abraham had been blessed with everything-Why?

The Miracle Of A Child

17 Heshvan 5777 – November 17, 2016
Why the binding? Why put Abraham and Sarah through the agony of thinking that the son for whom they have waited for so long is about to die? We cherish what we wait for and what we most risk losing.

On Being A Jewish Parent

10 Heshvan 5777 – November 11, 2016
The most influential man who ever lived, does not appear on any list I have seen of the hundred most influential men in history. He ruled no empire, commanded no army, His name, of course, is Abraham

The Universality Of Sukkot

19 Tishri 5777 – October 21, 2016
Sukkot is the most universalistic of all festivals. At the same time, however, it is the most particularist of festivals. When we sit in the sukkah, we recall Jewish history

Sukkot For Our Time

12 Tishri 5777 – October 14, 2016
The heart of Sukkot is to know that life is full of risk and yet to affirm it, to sense the full insecurity of the human situation and yet to rejoice in it. Chag Sameach!

To Renew Our Days

5 Tishri 5777 – October 7, 2016
The last two commands of the Torah, mentioned in this week's parsha-Hakhel and the command to write, or at take part in writing, a Sefer Torah-are about renewal, first collective, then individual.

We Are What We Remember

19 Elul 5776 – September 22, 2016
We are what we remember, and the first-fruits declaration was a way of ensuring that Jews would never forget.

The Limits Of Love

12 Elul 5776 – September 15, 2016
The opening three laws of this parsha- a captive woman taken in war, the law about the rights of the firstborn, and the “stubborn and rebellious son” – are all about dysfunctions within the family.

Pursuing Justice

6 Elul 5776 – September 8, 2016
Judaism is a religion of compassion, for without compassion law itself can generate inequity. Justice plus compassion equals tzedek, the first precondition of a decent society.

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