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18 Adar I 5779 -
? Friday, February 22, 2019


Faith And Friendship

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.

On Judaism And Islam

Hidden beneath the surface of Parshat Chayei Sarah, for example, is another story, alluded to only in a series of hints. Here are three clues in the text...

Numbers Don’t Tell The Story

Near the end of Parshas Va’etchanan, so inconspicuously that we can sometimes miss it, is a statement with such far-reaching implications that it challenges the impression that has prevailed thus far in the Torah, giving an entirely new complexion to the biblical image of the people Israel:

The Need For Chukkim

Of Chukkim “Satan and the nations of the world made fun.” They may appear irrational & superstitious

To 120: Growing Old, Staying Young

There is something moving about seeing Moses, at almost 120, looking forward as well as back, sharing his wisdom with the young, teaching us that while the body may age, the spirit can stay young

The Fewest Of All Peoples

Israel shows the world that a people does not have to be large in order to be great.

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.

Why Civilizations Die

Judaism survives due to Divine Providence and the foresight of Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai who resisted cognitive breakdown, created solutions for tomorrow's problems, who did not seek refuge in the irrational, and who quietly built the Jewish future.

Making Love Last

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...

Defining Reality

Culture is not nature. There are causes in nature, but only in culture are there meanings.

Spirits In A Material World

God is found in this world, not just the next. To grow spiritually, first satisfy material needs.

Tackling Tomorrow’s Problems

In her book The Watchman’s Rattle, subtitled Thinking Our Way Out of Extinction, Rebecca Costa delivers a fascinating account of how civilizations die. Their problems become too complex. Societies reach what she calls a cognitive threshold. They simply can’t chart a path from the present to the future.

A Father’s Love

It's not difficult understanding why Rebecca loved Jacob, the real question's why Isaac loved Esau?

Children Going Further Than Their Parents

The Song at the Sea was one of the great epiphanies of history. The sages said that even the humblest of Jews saw at that moment what even the greatest of prophets didn’t. For the first time they broke into collective song – a song we recite every day.

The Sabbath: First Or Last Day?

The Sabbath is a full dress rehearsal for an ideal society that has not yet come to pass-but will

Sprints And Marathons

You perpetuate a transformative event by turning it into a ritual.

The White Lie

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

The First Populist (Korach 5778)

The story of Korach has much to teach us about one of the most disturbing phenomena of our time: the rise of populism in...

The Universality Of Sukkot

Sukkot's the only festival sharing the pilgrimage cycle & part of Tishrei sequence-hence, double JOY

Leadership In Time Of Crisis

Ours is a small and intensely vulnerable people. Inspired, we rise to greatness. Uninspired, we fall

A People That Dwells Alone

Where then does Jewish singularity emerge? The clue lies in the precise wording of Bilaam’s blessing: “Behold it is a  people  that dwells alone.”

Two Types Of Community

A long drama had taken place. Moses had led the people from slavery to the beginning of the road to freedom. The people themselves had witnessed G-d at Mount Sinai, the only time in all history when an entire people became the recipients of revelation. Then came the disappearance of Moses for his long sojourn at the top of the mountain, an absence which led to the Israelites’ greatest collective sin, the making of the Golden Calf. Moses returned to the mountain to plead for forgiveness, which was granted.

The Cry On Yom Kippur

When we cry from the heart, someone listens; When we cry on Yom Kippur, God hears us.

The Power Of Praise

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

Civil Disobedience

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.

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