Re’eh 5779-2019

“Charity! The Investment That Keeps Giving”
(Revised and updated from Re’eh 5760-2000)

A major theme of this week’s parasha concerns how to deal with the impoverished members of the Jewish community. Rather than an act of kindness, the Torah regards “charity” as the right thing to do and a fundamental concept of life and morality.

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Korach 5779-2019

“Controversy Versus Conflict”
(Revised and updated from Korach 5760-2000)

The Mishnah in Avot teaches that every controversy that is for the “sake of Heaven” will endure, while those that are not for the sake of Heaven will not endure. The example that the Mishnah provides for a controversy that was not for the sake of Heaven is the conflict of Korach and his assemblage. Although some of Korach’s claims may have been legitimate, the method that he used to drive them home proves that he was not a pursuer of truth, but, rather, a pursuer of controversy.

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Acharei Mot 5779-2019

“The Forbidden Relationships Work Both Ways”
(Revised and updated from Acharei Mot 5760-2000)

Parashat Acharei Mot lists, in a very forceful manner, the rules and regulations regarding immoral and forbidden sexual relationships. It is this text that is read publicly at the afternoon Yom Kippur service in order to remind the Jewish people of proper moral conduct. However, it is also perhaps a reminder to G-d that just as He expects His people to be loyal to Him, so must He be loyal to His people and not exchange us for any other people.

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Kee Teitzei 5773-2013

"The ‘Mitzvah’ of Divorce, Revisited"

While stability in family life is a much hoped-for ideal, Judaism was remarkably ahead of its time in understanding that an unhappy husband or wife can sometimes not be reconciled, and that marriages must, at times, be terminated.

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Shemini-Yom Hashoah 5769-2009

"Aaron's Response to Tragedy-a Lesson for Yom Hashoah"

On what should have been the most jubilant day of his life, Aaron suffers the tragic loss of two of his sons who bring a strange fire shortly after the Tabernacle is inaugurated. Despite these grievous losses, Aaron and his two remaining sons are determined to go on with the ceremony. It is the commitment to preserve Jewish life, and live as a Jew with great zeal and passion, as taught to us by the High Priest Aaron, that is, unquestionably, the most powerful and appropriate response to the Shoah.

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Vayeira 5767-2006

"Choosing The Right Neighbors"

In parashat Vayeira, Abraham moves from Elonei Mamrei to Gerar. Our rabbis wonder why. Abraham's move can be instructive to us in our efforts to select the proper community in which to live.

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Vayakehel-Pekudei 5766-2006

"Lessons of Leadership from the Resume of an Architect"

What qualities are needed by successful leaders and artisans? The Torah's comments in parashat Vayakhel about Bezalel, the chief craftsman of the Tabernacle, reveal to us some very important Torah insights concerning leadership.

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Vayeilech 5761-2001

"Appreciating One's Own Inner Worth"

Unfortunately, there are many who feel themselves unworthy of G-d's forgiveness, or unworthy of participating in the communal contrition of the Jewish people. Judaism rejects that idea, insisting that each and every soul is precious to G-d, and qualifies for Divine forgiveness.

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Re’eh 5761-2001

"Charity! The Investment with the Greatest Return"

In this parasha, the Jewish people are told to care for their poor. "Thou shalt not harden thy heart, nor shut their hand from thy poor brother." Judaism has a rather unique understanding of charity, arguing that the poor person is doing a kindness to the donor, rather than the other way around. It is no wonder that with this deeply ingrained charitable philosophy, the Jewish people have always excelled in charitability. Unfortunately, as Jews move further away from tradition, they have become less and less charitable.

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Korach 5760-2000

"Controversy Versus Conflict"

The Mishnah in Avot teaches that every controversy that is for the sake of heaven will endure, while those that are not for the sake of heaven will not endure. The example that the Mishnah gives of a controversy that is not for the sake of heaven is the conflict of Korach and his assemblage. Although some of Korach's points may have been legitimate, the method that he used to drive them home proves that he was not a pursuer of truth, but rather a pursuer of controversy.

Read More


0 Comments8 Minutes

Acharei Mot 5760-2000

"The Forbidden Relationships Work Both Ways"

Parashat Acharei Mot lists, in a very forceful manner, the rules and regulations regarding immoral and forbidden sexual relationships. It is this text that is read publicly at the afternoon Yom Kippur service in order to remind the Jewish people of proper moral conduct. However, it is also perhaps a reminder to G-d that just as He expects His people to be loyal to Him, so must He be loyal to His people and not exchange us for any other people.

Read More


0 Comments6 Minutes