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Temptations, Tests, and the Search for Spiritual Courage

15 Elul 5773 – August 20, 2013
Temptations are ways of teaching people about G-d and the incredible human capacity for compassion and spiritual depth.

Touching the Opposite Sex

20 Kislev 5773 – December 3, 2012
'Shomer negiah,' the halachic bar on physical contact with the opposite sex, is wrongly treated by many as a Chumra that many do not observe.

The One Who Stopped

23 Av 5772 – August 10, 2012
Everyone knows the feeling you get when you want to do something you can’t do. There is always that temptation to do - especially because you know you can’t. Or sometimes it’s because you want to prove you can. Sometimes it’s because people expect it of you. Sometimes it’s a combination.

Preempting The Death Penalty

29 Tammuz 5772 – July 18, 2012
In this week’s parshah the Torah writes about a prohibition on killing a murderer prior to his trial. As the pasuk says: “…v’lo yamus harotzeach ad amdo lifnei haeidah lamishpat – … so that the murderer will not die until he stands before the assembly for judgment” (Bamidbar 35:12). The same rule applies to anyone who commits an aveirah that is punishable by death; no one is permitted to kill him prior to his trial in beis din, including the witnesses that warned him and witnessed the aveirah. The Sefer Hachinuch (mitzvah 409) writes that if one kills a transgressor prior to his trial, he is regarded as a murderer.

Killing Me Softly (Arachin 15b, 16a; Zevachim 88a)

10 Shevat 5772 – February 2, 2012
A person’s reputation precedes him. A bad reputation prejudices any chance of a successful encounter. Damaging a person’s reputation is tantamount to booby-trapping human relations before they can blossom into happy relationships.

How Did Yitzchak Eat From Eisav’s Shechitah?

28 Heshvan 5772 – November 24, 2011
In this week’s parshah we read about the berachos that Yitzchak had intended to give Eisav, but instead (unintentionally) gave to Yaakov Avinu.

When You Mess Up

4 Sivan 5769 – May 27, 2009
Ever wonder what might have happened had the first Adam reacted differently? I don't mean if Adam hadn't have eaten the forbidden fruit. I believe that somehow, on some level, that was a necessary component to our being human. We're not meant to be perfect angels, or mechanical robots, always following directions explicitly, and always doing the right thing. Temptation and failings, challenges and adventure are meant to be a part of our human journey.

When You Mess Up

Ever wonder what might have happened had the first Adam reacted differently? I don't mean if Adam hadn't have eaten the forbidden fruit. I believe that somehow, on some level, that was a necessary component to our being human. We're not meant to be perfect angels, or mechanical robots, always following directions explicitly, and always doing the right thing. Temptation and failings, challenges and adventure are meant to be a part of our human journey.

Woman And The Forbidden Fruit

26 Tishri 5767 – October 18, 2006
The sin of the Etz HaDa'at, the Tree of Knowledge is one of the most perplexing episodes in the Torah.

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