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Rabbi Lord Sacks: The Art Of True Leadership

7 Adar 5772 – February 29, 2012
There is a deeper message in Parshat Tetzaveh - the principle of the separation of powers, which opposes the concentration of leadership into one person or institution. All human authority needs checks and balances if it is not to become corrupt. In particular, political and religious leadership (keter malchut and keter kehunah) should never be combined. Moses wore the crowns of political and prophetic leadership, Aaron that of priesthood. The division allowed each to be a check on the other.

Rabbi Lord Sacks: The Tabernacle’s Lesson

30 Shevat 5772 – February 22, 2012
It is not what G-d does for us that transforms us, but rather what we do for G-d. A free society is best symbolized by the Tabernacle. It is the home we build together. It is only by becoming builders that we turn from subjects to citizens. We have to earn our freedom by what we give. It cannot be given to us as an unearned gift.

Rabbi Lord Sacks: The Hardship Of Freedom

23 Shevat 5772 – February 15, 2012
First in Parshat Yitro there were the Asseret Hadibrot (the Ten Utterances, or general principles). Now in Parshat Mishpatim come the details.

The Supernatural Miracle

10 Shevat 5772 – February 2, 2012
In September 2010, BBC, Reuters and other news agencies reported on a sensational scientific discovery. Researchers at the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research and the University of Colorado showed through computer simulation how the division of the Red Sea might have taken place.

The Egyptian March Of Folly

3 Shevat 5772 – January 26, 2012
There is a fascinating moment in the unfolding story of the plagues that should make us stop and take notice. Seven plagues have now struck Egypt.

When History Was Born

26 Tevet 5772 – January 20, 2012
The parshah of Va’eira begins with some fateful words. It would not be too much to say that they changed the course of history because they changed the way people thought about history. In fact, they gave birth to the very idea of history. Listen to the words:

Closeness And Distance

4 Tevet 5772 – December 29, 2011
What do porcupines do in winter? asked Schopenhauer. If they come too close to one another, they injure each other. If they stay too far apart, they freeze. Life, for porcupines, is a delicate balance between closeness and distance. It is hard to get it right and dangerous to get it wrong. And so it is for us.

The Real Issue

26 Kislev 5772 – December 21, 2011
There has long been a massive debate in Anglo Jewry as to whether we should take a unified stance in our support for the State of Israel or openly air our differences. It’s mostly been a noisy and shrill debate, but it’s the wrong debate – as it is deflecting us from the real issue.

Conversation Is The Key To Understanding

20 Kislev 5772 – December 15, 2011
From Parshat Vayeishev to the end of Sefer Bereishit, we read the story of Joseph and his brothers. From the very beginning we are plunged into a drama of sibling rivalry that seems destined to end in tragedy.

Being Held Accountable

12 Kislev 5772 – December 7, 2011
By any standards it was a shocking episode. Jacob had settled on the outskirts of the town of Shechem, ruled by Hamor. Dinah, Jacob’s daughter, goes out to see the town. Shechem, Hamor’s son, sees her, abducts and rapes her, and then falls in love with her and wants to marry her. He begs his father, “Get me this girl as my wife.”

Was Jacob Really An Ish Tam?

4 Kislev 5772 – November 30, 2011
What kind of man was Jacob? This is the question that cries out to us in episode after episode of his life.

An Honorable Failure

28 Heshvan 5772 – November 24, 2011
Even before they were born, Jacob and Esau struggled in the womb. They were destined, it seems, to be eternal adversaries. Not only were they different in character and appearance, they also held different places in their parents’ affections.

How Long To Grieve

20 Heshvan 5772 – November 17, 2011
Abraham, the Sages were convinced, was a greater religious hero than Noah. We hear this in the famous dispute among the Sages about the phrase that Noah was “perfect in his generations,” meaning relative to his generations:

Babel’s Larger Theme

29 Tishri 5772 – October 26, 2011
Between the Flood and the call to Abraham, between the universal covenant with Noah and the particular covenant with one people comes the strange, suggestive story of Babel:

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