We Must Fight Our Inner Cynic!

Cynical people always try to point out the negative.

What Menachen Begin Taught Us

27 years ago, on the 4th day of Adar Sheni, Menachem Begin passed away. Here are 3 enduring messages from his legacy.

Redeeming Relevance: Vayikra Avoidance Syndrome and the Torah on One Foot

Because sefer Vayikra is more difficult, we tend to look at it less. But because we look at it less, we also understand it less, which – in turn – keeps it difficult and less appealing. In a nutshell, that is what I call Vayikra Avoidance Syndrome.

The Blessing Of Rejection

“Also, you should know, that this rejection, as painful as it is for you today, upgrades you. It transforms you into people who know how to believe in themselves even when others don’t always believe in them." Encouragement to students applying to HS. Words of wisdom: Believe in Yourself!

Redeeming Relevance: Pekudei: Blessed Work

So what is melakhah, and how is it different than avodah? And why is that only Moshe sees it that way. Finally, why is blessing something that seems to flow directly out of it?

Standing Outside With Everyone Else

Moses was stuck outside the Tabernacle with the people who built it. He understood at that moment the message of the Half Shekel, or, my fifty cents. He was not standing as the great Moses or the awesome Moses who could meet with God in Heaven. He stood outside as one of the people who all contributed a Half Shekel, fifty cents. It was at that moment that Moses became the most humble of men. I can almost hear the coins jingling in his pocket.

Torah From A TV Anchor

“The boy from Russia who was not accepted to study physics because he was a Jew is now part of a team that is sending off a spacecraft containing a disk with the entire Hebrew Bible scanned onto it and an Israeli flag.”

Parshat Vayakheil

It is not enough to assemble one's people in one place. There must be a unifying mission.

Vayakhel: The End of Innocence, the Beginning of Life

The Mishkan we eventually had could have become the place where the Jews connected with Hashem more fully or strongly even than at Sinai, perhaps. After the sin of the Golden Calf, it could never be the place of innocent joy it was meant to be.

Connecting To Ourselves

"The Lord settles lonely individuals into the House (Psalms 68:7)." His House that "dwells in the heart of each individual" is meant to provide a place for the lonely; those disconnected from themselves

Don’t Panic

The soul must be saved from panic, for panic can destroy it.

TORAH SHORTS: Ki Tisa: We Haven’t Even Started

The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning. -Ivy Baker

The Calf Vs. Torah

All that's gold does not glitter-in truth

From Linear To Spatial

Directing us in the right direction like a compass, teachings on the Parshat Ki Tisa from Rabbi Weinberg

Redeeming Relevance: The Need for Godly Space… Away from God

Paradoxically, putting on the veil would help Moshe connect with spirituality but when he was actually speaking with God, Moshe would nevertheless remove it.

Why Is Yechezkel Called Ben Adam?

The notion that we have wings and can fly, but fall to access them is genuinely spot-on.

True Leadership

Moshe was a stutterer and did not look for a leadership role, but he proved that one can lead even without charisma – through the power of faith, prayer, and a sense of mission.

Vibrating With Internal Energy

I love and, am energized by, wrapping myself in my Tallit (Prayer Shawl), and tying on my Tefillin (Phylacteries) because of their message. I focused this morning on whether I had the ability to energize them, whether I could wear them as a celebration of my growth, and found myself vibrating with their energy.

Parshat Tetzaveh: The Intended Porous Divider Between the Human and the Divine

The Urim ve-Tumim, introduced in this week's parsha, remind us Hashem never meant the Jewish people to make their way in the world based only on traditions of what we were once told.

Tips To Be Miserable

To avoid misery, read the 6-steps to misery--and completely side-step these landmines

A Taste of Heaven

I can see how much I have and celebrate my plenty by bringing a small slice of heaven to others who have even less.

Redeeming Relevance: The Mishkan’s Opportunity Cost

For most of us, sacred spaces help us to focus, whereas we would otherwise not focus at all. Hence they are worth the opportunity cost they create. But we are well advised to keep that cost in mind. The fact that we are able to focus on God in the synagogue does not mean we should forget God outside!

‘Tweets’ From The Kotzker

Long before social media posts and tweets, the Kotzker delivered messages in short, bite-size form. Here are just a few of his gems

Listening for What We Don’t Know

Absolute truth is dangerous in the hands of people who do not realize how much they do not know. Just as I cringe when someone declares that he knows the reason for the Holocaust, I shudder when people authoritatively declare people they don't know to be heretics and sinners. Knowing that I don't know opens the door to listening and learning, an opportunity to discover more about God, people, and me.

Parshat Mishpatim: We Are What We Do

What we spend time on says as much or more about what we truly value than what we might occasionally mention

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