The Torah’s Atomic Weapon

The incense that burned on this altar has always attracted special interest for its unusual life-giving properties

Can an Angel Be Wrong?

I believe that the Torah is telling us something more nuanced. I think it is telling us that God wants the people to listen to Moshe even when he is wrong!

The Good Midianite

Throughout history, the Jews have not had many friends Faced with a hostile world, when they came across a truly righteous gentile, it was a...

Follow the Leader: The Legacy of Nachshon Ben-Aminadav

Leading by example must be calculatedly visible, not only from a point of view of where it is done, but even when and how it is done. Doing something privately is not an act of leadership.

Why Can’t God Get More Involved?

The experience of the generation that came out of Egypt shows us that the clarity we think we so much want from God would actually hurt us more than it would help us.

Wasn’t Moshe a Prophet?

Moshe’s complaint to God is that even though he would have the best human understanding of the Divine will, he had difficulty bringing it down to regular people.

Redeeming Relevance: Parshat Vayigash: Yosef ‘s Invitation into Exile

While there is an important place for reflecting about past mistakes, that is only with regards to preparing ourselves to do better in the future.

The Cliffhangers at the End of Bereishit… and in Our Lives

Neither Yosef nor Yehudah panicked. They did not know how the next parsha would begin, but they did know that the larger story had to have a happy ending.

When Ya’akov Became Two People

Ya'akov's youth resembles that of his passive and isolated[…] father, his adult life resembles the trials and tribulations of Abraham among the nations.

Takes One to Know One

If we are constantly looking for the ideal, we may never find it, but if we start doing the possible, we may find that the ideal is just down the road

The Untouchable Yitzchak

I am convinced that meeting Yitzchak was a much more intense experience than meeting Avraham.

Serious Laughter

We should remember that though Avraham was the first Jew, Yitzchak was the first born Jew. In other words, a certain paradigm of Jewish existence is created by Yitzchak’s birth, a birth in total contradiction to the physical reality of other men.

Redeeming Relevance: How Could He Possibly Think That Way?

This inability to understand others with whom we disagree underlies the polarization in Israel today

Was Moshe a Success or a Failure?

How might Moshe looked back upon his life? Ironically, the man unsurpassed in so many ways may actually have seen himself as a failure. Yet that is certainly the impression one gets from reading through most of this book.

Wisdom of the Longer Path

This is not to say that there is no such thing as a wrong turn. Though we can even learn from a mistaken path, we have good reason to want to avoid it.

Are You Sure You Wouldn’t Have Worshiped the Golden Calf?

The Torah is based on the spot-on premise that basic features of the human condition remain constant throughout history

Bar Kappara’s ‘Off-Color’ Jokes

By using humor, he could bring home what simple study in a beit midrash could not.

What Happens When We Forget About God?

Apparently, God is only actively engaged when man is conscious of Him

Avraham’s Admirable Failures

If I am indeed correct that each of the four descriptions of Yitzchak represents a different aspect of the test and Avraham is only congratulated for two, could it not be that Avraham did not pass the two aspects of the test that went unmentioned?

Anger, Procrastination, and Elul 

Some people get angry at the Jewish calendar. It takes away their ability to decide when they want to rejoice, when they want to...

When a Student must Teach the Teacher 

“I have learned much from my teachers and even more from my friends, but from my students I have learned most of all” (Taanit 7a). 

When Torah Knowledge and Wisdom are Separated

The most outstanding Torah scholar may not be the greatest mentor and visa-versa. It is wonderful (and convenient) when we can find someone, who is “one-stop shopping.” Yet the story of Rav Kahana shows us that life is not always so tidy.

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