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Jerusalem, Israel
12 Tishri 5779 -
? Thursday, September 20, 2018


Six Heroic Women

six heroines, six courageous women without whom there would not have been a Moses.

Celebrating by Walking Tall

The account of the construction of the Tabernacle in Vayakhel-Pekudei is built around the number seven.

Arbitration Vs. Litigation

We must never forget that when Aaron was left to lead, the people made a golden calf. But never forget that Moses needed an Aaron to hold the people together. In short, leadership is the capacity to hold together different temperaments, conflicting voices and clashing values.

Sukkot For Our Time

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!

The Universality Of Wisdom

By wisdom, we come to understand G-d via creation; By Torah we understand G-d through His revelation

Greatness Is Humility

One of the more unusual aspects of being a chief rabbi is that one comes to know people one otherwise might not.

The Hope And Promise Of Prophecy

Moshe wasn't the last of the prophets. How would Israel discern his true successors from the false?

Civil Disobedience

The first recorded instance of civil disobedience is the story of Shifra and Puah, defying Pharaoh

The Power of Dreams

Joseph may have known ancient Egyptian traditions about seven-year famines.

Who Is Honored?

In parshat Tetzaveh, for once Moses, the hero, the leader, the liberator, the lawgiver, is offstage. Instead our focus is on his elder brother Aaron who, elsewhere, is often in the background.

Fear Or Distress?

Jacob and Esau are about to meet again after a separation of 22 years. It is a fraught encounter. Once, Esau had sworn to kill Jacob as revenge for what he saw as the theft of his blessing. Will he do so now, or has time healed the wound? Jacob sends messengers to let his brother know he is coming. They return, saying that Esau is coming to meet Jacob with a force of 400 men. We then read: “Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed” (Genesis 32:8).

The Rare Torah Oracle

Rebecca, hitherto infertile, became pregnant. Suffering acute pain, she went to inquire of the Lord – “vateilech lidrosh et Hashem” (Bereishit 25:22). The explanation she received was that she was carrying twins who were contending in her womb. They were destined to do so long into the future.

Torah As A Marriage Contract

On the face of it, the connections between the sedrah and haftarah of Bamidbar are slender. The first has to do with demography. Bamidbar begins with a census of the people. The haftarah begins with Hosea’s vision of a time when “the number of the children of Israel will be like the sand on the seashore, which cannot be measured or numbered.” There was a time when the Israelites could be counted; the day will come when they will be countless. That is one contrast between the future and the past.

The Cup Of Hope

Only later did I discover the real significance of Elijah’s cup, and found, as so often, that the truth is no less moving than the stories we learned as children.

Social Capital And Fallen Donkeys

Never be in too much of a rush to stop and come to the aid of someone in need of help. Rarely, if ever, will you better invest your time. It may take a moment but its effect may last a lifetime

Justice And Compassion

Shakespeare is expressing the medieval stereotype of Christian mercy (Portia) as against Jewish justice (Shylock).

The Lost Masterpiece: Parshat Pinchas

God was saying, “From My perspective, seeing the future, it would have been better to send women, because they love and cherish the land and would never come to speak negatively about it. However, since you are convinced that these men are worthy and do indeed value the land, I give you permission to go ahead and send them.”

Expanding Freedom

Despite the Divine anger, the people were not condemned to permanent exile. They simply had to face the fact that their children would achieve what they themselves were not ready for.

Giving Thanks

Judaism is “gratitude with attitude.” And this, according to recent scientific research, really is a life-enhancing idea and the source of the command to give thanks is to be found in this week’s parsha

Closeness And Distance

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.

Rabbi Sacks: Parshat Vayelech: The Second Mountain

So, as Moses faced his own life’s end, what was there left to do? The book of Devarim contains and constitutes the answer.

The Covenants Of Fate And Destiny

Sadly, we're no longer an edah; We've fissured and fractured: Orthodox & Reform; religious & secular

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