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Even Moses Needed Help

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 Challenge of Yitro: Would You Convert?

Yitro confronts us for the first time with a new phenomenon: to be a Jew by choice. By doing so, he presents all Jews with a major challenge: how to become a Jew by choice even when one has been born into the fold.

Becoming

I finished reading that the Israeli chief rabbinate invalidating numerous conversions, opened the weekly portion, and enjoyed a hearty chuckle when I remembered that the portion of Revelation and the Ten Statements is named for a convert, a failed one, Yitro. Things sure have changed.

Parshas Beshalach: Singing Of Emunah

So why sing it? If the second shirah does not add any new ideas or even words, what was its purpose?

Chesed And Rachamim In Our Lives (Part Two)

More eternal wisdom from Rebbetzin Jungreis, a”h. This week considering how to become an agent of chesed (compassion) and rachamim (mercy)-continued from last week.

The Grass Is Greener: Litigating in Non-Jewish Courts

What happens if a Diaspora Jew refuses to appear before a Jewish court of law or refuses to honor its judgment?

The Merit Of Trusting Hashem

The difficulty with this Rashi is that he lists all three reasons in same breath as if they are equal, and clearly they aren’t.

Q & A: Covering The Challah

Question: Why do we cover the challah when we make Kiddush? Why don’t we cover any other foods on the table? Zelig Aronson

Daf Yomi

To Have Or To Hold ‘Renting Is Not Owning’ (Avodah Zara 15a)

You Must Believe Me That I Repaid You Earlier Today Because I Could Have...

Such a defense can only be raised at the end of the day because it is based on a migo. The migo is that if the borrower were lying, he could have come up with a better defense.

Intended Gift

"It won't be easy to buy another one," said Mrs. Lieber. "It was an odd sale item I found in an antique store. It's not right to give away what I got special for them."

Enjoy The Fruit

Of course, in our time Eretz Yisrael has begun producing fruits in an enormous abundance. That it has done so despite it being known as a barren desert for millennia is nothing short of an open miracle.

Dance of Forgiveness

Miriam and the women who followed her recognized that Israel would be unable to move forward until they forgave God for their suffering and their fear. So they sang of God desiring to share His power with them so that they too would be able to "hurl horse with rider into the sea," as Israel does to Amalek in the closing scene of the portion.

Miracles In The Hospital

After being checked by a doctor, my father needed to undergo some minor surgery. It was clear to his two children in Israel that my father could no longer live independently.

AlephBeta: Beshalach: What Does It Mean to Have Faith?

After Israel sings a song of thanksgiving, curiously, Miriam then leads the women of the nation in a second song. Why?

The Unforgettable Wonders

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

Parshat BeShalach: Jewish Self Delusion

Though rooted back in our servitude in Egypt, to this day, similar attitudes of Jewish self-deception often create the foundations of Jewish self-rejection and self-hate, which become the root of animosity toward anyone who does not join this self-imposed denial of the Jewish cause.

The Broader Picture

In the midst of his writing, he chanced to look down at the dance floor. He noticed that from afar, it seemed like he was witnessing poetry in motion.
Brit Milah

Circumcision: Why Risk Your Child’s Well-Being? A Call to All Israelis

Spinoza, who left all Jewishness correctly observed, circumcision is the secret to the miracle of Jewish survival. What those Jews who oppose circumcision should never forget is that the attempt to outlaw this rite may not just make Jewish life impossible, but would probably end all Jewish existence

Reframing the Debate Over Women’s Religious Leadership

The religious state of nature does not enable the building of a religious society. Since human beings are social creatures, it follows that the state of nature does not enable human fulfillment.   We therefore need a religious social contract.  Cue Sinai; enter, the Torah.

From A Friend

They knew that if they performed acts of kindness with each other G-d would perform kindness with them.

Should All Midrashim Be Taken Literally?

We must struggle to understand, says the Rambam, the greatness and wisdom in the words of Chazal.

Handing It Over

Someone dialed the police. It was too late, though. The thief had already fled the hall and disappeared into the street.

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