The setting: Jerusalem some twenty centuries ago. The occasion: bringing first fruits to the Temple. Here is the scene as the Mishnah describes it. Throughout Israel, villagers would gather in the nearest of 24 regional centres. There, overnight, they would sleep in the open air. The next morning, the leader would summon the people with words from the book of Jeremiah (31:5): “Arise and let us go up to Zion, to the House of the Lord our God.”
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
If having a king is a good thing, why does God say that it means that the people are rejecting Him? If it is a bad thing, why does God tell Samuel to give the people what they want even if it is not what God would wish them to want?
Remarkably, despite the exiles and horrors of history, Jews did not see themselves as victims. This is the message Moses imparts throughout sefer Devarim: Never define yourself as a victim
Greatness is humility. This idea – counter-intuitive, unexpected, life-changing – is one of the great contributions of the Torah to Western civilization and found in the words of Moses in this week's sedra
A key to help unlock the entire project outlined by Moses in Sefer Devarim, the final book of the Torah, from a most unlikely source...
Wishing you a Tzom kal (an easy fast)
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 Torah is not myth but anti-myth, a deliberate insistence on removing the magical elements from the story and focusing relentlessly on the human drama
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.”
God commanded our ancestors to be different, not because they were better than others For this reason, assimilation is the opposite of the answer.
The life-changing idea of Chukat: we are dust of the earth but there is within us the breath of God. We fail, but we can still achieve greatness. We die, but the best part of us lives on.
The story of Korach has much to teach us about one of the most disturbing phenomena of our time: the rise of populism in...
For too long, people have thought that religion and science are destined to be in conflict.
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.