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19 Adar I 5779 -
? Saturday, February 23, 2019


What Makes God Laugh

Pagan prophets like Bilam had not yet learned the lesson we must all one day learn: What matters is not that God does what we want, but that we do what He wants.

Cutting-Edge Clarity

What disappointment! How he longed for the semi-comfort of being in his childhood surroundings. If he could not have his parents back, at least he could be in familiar territory.

The Refusal To Be Comforted

The deception has taken place. Joseph has been sold into slavery. His brothers have dipped his coat in blood. They bring it back to their father, saying: “Look what we have found. Do you recognize it? Is this your son’s robe or not?” Jacob recognized it and replied, “It is my son’s robe. A wild beast has devoured him. Joseph has been torn to pieces.”

The Limits Of Love

The opening three laws of this parsha- a captive woman taken in war, the law about the rights of the firstborn, and the “stubborn and rebellious son” – are all about dysfunctions within the family.

Chavi’s Third Birthday

Although the following incident occurred many years ago, it is etched in my mind as if it happened yesterday.

Be Fearful of Religion: Parashat Veyetze

Yaakov introduces a great foundation of Halacha: To give a religious moment an ongoing effect it must be translated into the tangible, the mundane. He picks up a rock.

The Will To Live

It was a year of Torah learning, a year of fostering new friendships, a year of encounters with diverse educators and personalities, a year of becoming more attached to the land, and a year of relative innocence.

The Mourning Dove Lesson Of Emunah

Leah and Benyamin were both so used to being independent that Leah did not consider asking anyone for help.

The Effective Critic

The great leaders of Israel were the great defenders of Israel, people who saw the good within the not-yet-good. That is why they were listened to when they urged people to change and grow. THat is how it was in the time of Moses; that is how it remains today

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

Picture Perfect

The answers, though, were out there, waiting patiently and shimmering in the distance until the One with all the answers decided to enlighten us.

Was Jacob Really An Ish Tam?

What kind of man was Jacob? This is the question that cries out to us in episode after episode of his life.

Spiritually In Tune

Eli believes in reincarnation and rectifying the soul and he believes with a hundred percent certainty that this whole episode was part of his tikkun.

The God-Spotter

Though my father lives in another area of Staten Island, he has been intermittently involved with this synagogue since its inception.

Tenfold

It was Erev Pesach, three hours before Yom Tov. I was at the checkout counter at the local supermarket. The gentleman in front of me was trying to pay his $48 bill. I noticed that he gave the clerk a credit card that was declined. He offered a second credit card, with the same result. The saleswoman then asked the young man how he planned to pay, to which he sheepishly replied, "May I write a check?"

Beshalach: What Does It Mean to Have Faith?

Why did Miriam lead the women of the nation in a second song?

Chance Encounters?

I believe that everything happens for a reason. Even the seemingly smallest of occurrences has a purpose. I recently had a doctor's appointment in Yerushalayim. Once finished, I decided to do some shopping in a nearby grocery store. This spur-of-the- moment decision led to an encounter with someone from my past, who was to teach me invaluable lessons in life.

Finding One’s Neshomeh: Franz Rosenzweig and the Berliner Shtiebel

We suggest all Jews and Israelis enter a small synagogue filled with dedicated and passionate worshippers, and then to release all external and artificial components from their souls; to penetrate the surroundings in which they find themselves, and then to let go. Th

Understanding Sacrifice

What was sacrifice in Judaism and why does it remain important, at least as an idea, even today?

Of Simchas, Serenity, And Sirius Black

Our daughter from the West Coast surprised her sisters and delighted us by flying in for the weekend to join the festivities and meet her new nephew and niece.

A Nod From Above

When the Nazis began their hunt of on October 1, Rosh Hashana night, most Jews were already hiding in fishing villages along the coast.

The Rationale For The Dietary Laws

The ritual of kashrut may help us become more conscious of our responsibilities to live ethical lives.

The Art of Imagination

Yeshivoth are producing students with a prodigious amount of Jewish knowledge, but are they serving the students and are the Yeshivoth producing real Torah scholars or just walking encyclopedias?

The Chief Rabbinate and Its Disgrace: Who Is an Exceptionally Great Sage?

The Talmud teaches only when making a sincere effort to reduce the pain of fellow human beings can one be called a great person! Those who do follow this approach are unsuited to be religious leaders

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