Sins woven into the fabric of a society have a weight individuals’ sins do not. Communities must set standards, make sure people do not forget the nature of right and wrong, however far from it they may stray.
I wish all of us, parents and teachers, would listen to everything our children ask and say. I dream of our hearing them so well that we can begin to visualize and relate to them as who they can be when they fulfill all their potential.
Why should we rejoice on Shabbos like those who received the Torah?
Not only is a person capable of saying Shema while being tortured and killed; he must do so.
In the modern era, many nations introduced compulsory education and in the process tried compelling Jews to change their curricula.
" Nachamu, Nachamu, is not a repetition, but a Song of Act Two--uf new beginnings and of hope.
“Man reached the moon. But man to man he has yet to reach.”
Originally, the brothers condemned Yosef for being a rodef, but in the end they were haggling over his clothing and extra shoes.
It is the easiest to only praise, to be "all smiles and hearts," but if you truly care about someone, you do not flatter him. You help him become better.
The astronauts, too, had to follow every detail of their instructions, utterly negating their own desires.
The word eichah is a word we heard from Moshe Rabbenu, calling us to realize we weren’t aiming as high as we could. We could have heeded it then, and put ourselves on a better path. We heard it centuries later, a call to see how we were setting ourselves up for destruction. Two calls we unfortunately ignored, leading to the third eichah, which continues to ring in our hardened ears.
The Jewish people’s affairs are connected with, and depend on, the Torah in its entirety...
The Baal Shem Tov told his disciples that all the dozens of journeys detailed in this parshah exist also in each person's life – from the day of his birth to the day he leaves this world. In every journey, one has to move upwards and learn something new.
Flattery is such a grievous avairah that Tosafos even discusses whether flattery is permissible in an emergency.
One of the more fruitless political debates in the United States is whether strict restriction of gun permits would add to public safety. One of the reasons it is fruitless is that both sides muster flawed analogies to other societies.
On my watch
Ben-Gurion understood both the strategic and symbolic value of Yerushalayim.
He then called out, “Zechariah, Zechariah, I have killed the best. Do you want me to kill them all?”
"Starting today, every child to us is like one thousand children." These words were said by Rabbi Herzog to the Pope after the Holocaust when he went out on a journey to find Jewish children who were transferred to convents and monasteries to avoid deportation to Nazi concentration camps, and were baptized to Christianity there. Rav Herzog wound up returning many children to their faith, people, and homeland.
Hashem gave us the Torah and we forged a connection with Him. The bond that existed after Har Sinai wasn't temporary, it was tamid, constant.
Moshiach, when he comes, will reveal the deeper reasons for every detail of Torah observance – why it is necessary to perform particular mitzvos in specific ways and what each detail accomplishes in the spiritual realm.
Location, Location, Location
Having a good eye means one is able to view others positively on an intellectual level.
The next time we face a rainy day, let's not feel down.
Higher than the question of our duration is the question of our deserving. Immortality will come to such as are fit for it, and he would be a great soul in future must be a great soul now. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
During the Three Weeks, the Rebbe recommended learning more Torah, giving more tzedakah, and increasing activities of ahavas Yisrael.
R’ Yisroel Salanter noted that some people are very careful to observe rabbinic mitzvos…but do not take seriously a Torah prohibition like lashon hara.
In Judaism, since sin is not a foregone conclusion, we hold ourselves fully accountable for it. Likewise do we hold others accountable – if not to us, then certainly to God. And so the daughters of Tzelophad put this out about their father – and about everyone else.
Hashem doesn’t ask a person, “What did you do?” He asks, “What are you able to do?”
The Rebbe Rayatz, however, refused to leave. He considered it his duty to uphold Torah study and observance even under such trying conditions.