In this week’s parsha, Moshe reaches his lowest ebb. What is striking is the depth of Moses’ despair, the candor with which he expresses it, and the blazing honesty of the Torah in telling us this story.
The challenge that emerges from the way the Torah describes taking a census is that we must “lift people’s heads.” Never let them feel as if they are merely a number. Make those you meet feel important, especially the people whom others tend to take for granted.
In Bamidbar, the fledgling Jewish nation is ready to move on. This time they are looking forward, not back. They are thinking not of the danger they are fleeing from but of the destination they are traveling toward, the Promised Land.
Parshat Behar deals with a problem that is as acute today as it was 33 centuries ago: The inevitable inequalities that arise in every free market economy teaching us to ask not, “what can I gain?” but “what can I give?”
Kedoshim is not just about order. It is about humanizing that order through love – the love of neighbor and stranger. Love needs order.
Evil speech destroys relationships. Good speech mends them. This works not only in marriages and families, but also in communities, organizations and businesses. So: in any relationship that matters to you, deliver praise daily
Has there been a moment when you felt like a faker, a fraud, and that at some time you would be found out?
Chag Sameach and Shabbat Shalom!
The best argument against the world of ancient Egypt was Divine humor. The plagues were G-d’s joke at the expense of the magicians who believed that because they controlled the forces of nature, they were the masters of human destiny. They were wrong.
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
We can be good at many things, but what gives a life direction and meaning is a sense of mission, of something we are called on to do. That is the significance of the opening word of today’s parsha, Vayikra.
For two thousand years in the absence of a Temple its place was taken by the synagogue. Why, if the Torah is timeless, does it devote such space to what was essentially a time-bound structure? The answer is deep and life-transforming,
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.
The sedrah of Tetzaveh, in which the name of Moses is missing and the focus is on Aaron, reminds us that our heritage derives from both. Moses is a man of history, of epoch-making events.
Parshat Terumah begins the seismic shift from the intense drama of the Exodus, with its wonders and epic events, to the detailed narrative of how the Israelites constructed the Mishkan--the Tabernacle. The Nation begins building its HOME.
One passage in this week’s sedrah shows how differences in interpretation can lead to, or flow from, profound differences in culture. Ironically, the subject concerned – abortion – remains deeply contentious to this day.
By delegating the judicial function downward, Moses would bring ordinary people – with no special prophetic or legal gifts – into the seats of judgment. Precisely because they lacked Moses’s intuitive knowledge of law and justice, they were able to propose equitable solutions.
The genius of the biblical narrative of the crossing of the Reed Sea is that it does not resolve the issue of whether it was a miracle or merely natural, one way or another. It gives us both perspectives-you decide
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.
How moving it is, therefore, that the first recorded instance of civil disobedience – predating Thoreau by more than three millennia – is the story in this week's parsha of Shifra and Puah, two ordinary women defying Pharaoh in the name of simple humanity.
Is it permitted to tell a white lie? Not only is it permitted to tell a white lie to save a life; it is also permitted to do so for the sake of peace. And we learn this in this week's
For perhaps the first time in his life, Judah came close to his brother Joseph. The irony is, of course, that he did not know it was Joseph.
From Joseph we learn three principles. The first: Dream dreams. Second: Leaders interpret other people’s dreams. Third: Find a way to implement dreams:
Parshat Vayeshev has the form of a Greek tragedy. Judaism is the opposite of tragedy. It tells us that every bad fate can be averted and that despair is never justified; today’s curse may be the beginning of tomorrow’s blessing.
Why not paint Jacob in more attractive colors? It seems to me that the Torah is delivering, here as elsewhere, an extraordinary message: that if we can truly relate to God as God, in His full transcendence and majesty, then we can relate to humans as humans in all their fallibility.