Va’eira 5781-2021

“Mesmerized by the Subtle Slavery”
(updated and revised from Va’eira 5761-2001)

The Torah tells us that Pharaoh literally had to chase the Jews out of Egypt, not only because Egypt was the country that they knew as their home, but because Egypt embodied values from which they were not prepared to separate. It is this “subtle slavery,” reflected in our admiration for, and indeed worship of, “alien” cultures and values, that is a cause of concern for Jews, even today.

Read More


0 Comments7 Minutes

Shemot 5781-2021

“The Not-So-Obvious Process of Hebrew Enslavement”
(revised and updated from parashat Shemot 5761-2001)

The message of parashat Shemot is that the Jewish people probably became slaves long before the Egyptians enforced slavery upon them. Long before the back-breaking labor, the Sons of Israel had probably become slaves to Egyptian culture, Egyptian fashion and Egyptian values. It was inevitable that these committed Jewish-Egyptian “patriots” would become so deeply dedicated to Egypt politically, civically and emotionally that they would ultimately be unable to extricate themselves.

Read More


0 Comments7 Minutes

Vayigash 5781-2020

“Joseph Helps His Brothers Repent”
(updated and revised from Vayigash 5761-2001)

Why did Joseph have to be so cruel to his brothers? Joseph apparently felt that it was necessary to put his brothers through an agonizing test in order to determine whether his brothers were truly Ba'alei T'shuva--fully penitent. Joseph brilliantly recreates the circumstances where Benjamin is now in the exact position that Joseph was in when he was thrown in to the pit by his brothers and sold to the Ishmaelites. Will the brothers this time stand up for Benjamin, or will they abandon the lad, as they did Joseph?

Read More


0 Comments7 Minutes

Lech Lecha 5781-2020

“Lot, Nephew of Abram: The Promise and the Tragedy”
(updated and revised from Lech Lecha 2000-5761)

Abram was very close to his orphaned nephew, Lot, and did his best to educate him in the ways of morality and ethics. But, Abram and Lot soon grow apart because of Lot's obsession with comfort and wealth. At first, Lot showed great promise. In fact, he possibly could have become the material and spiritual heir of Abram, but instead he chose the luscious plain--he chose Sodom.

Read More


0 Comments12 Minutes

Vayechi 5780-2020

"The Critical Importance of Timing"
(updated and revised from Vayechi 5760-1999)

When blessing his children, Jacob says of Reuben that he has all the natural advantages of the firstborn child in rank and in power. Retreating suddenly, Jacob declares that Reuben is impetuous like water and therefore cannot be the foremost. As we study the actions, deeds and words of Reuben, we find that he is a good person, who is extremely good-hearted and well-intentioned. Reuben is always ready to do the right thing. Unfortunately, his timing is off, intending to do the right thing, but at the wrong time. As important as actions and words are, timing is at least as critical.

Read More


0 Comments13 Minutes

Vayakhel 5779-2019

"Jewish Women and Jewish Destiny"
(Revised and updated from Vayakhel 5760-2000)

We are told in parashat Vayakhel that the Jewish women responded immediately to the appeals that were made by Moses for gold for building the Tabernacle, swiftly removing their precious jewelry and rushing them to the Tabernacle. This was only one of the many heroic actions that the women of Israel performed. The key role that the women of Israel played in the redemption of the people of Israel is confirmed by the remarkable rabbinic statement asserting that “only in the merit of the righteous women, were our ancestors redeemed from Egypt.” It is quite likely that this is true, not only of the generation of Egypt, but for all subsequent generations as well.

Read More


0 Comments16 Minutes

Mikeitz 5779-2018

"Why Did You Treat Me So Badly"

There was but a single instance in Jacob’s life where he complained to G-d about being treated badly. Jacob’s faithful attitude teaches the importance of having faith in G-d at all times, and that even in times of darkness, we must look forward to the dawning of a beautiful sun-filled tomorrow.

Read More


0 Comments9 Minutes

Passover 5777-2017

“לֶחֶם עֹנִי --Lechem Oni: The Bread of Affliction

Matzah is referred to in scripture as "Lechem Oni," the bread of affliction. It is important for contemporary Jews to remember the message and meaning of "Lechem Oni," during our own Passover celebrations.

Read More


0 Comments8 Minutes

Vayeishev 5775-2014

"Who Sold Joseph?"

The Biblical verses regarding the sale of Joseph conceal more than they reveal, leaving the answer to the question of who sold Joseph entirely ambiguous.

Read More


0 Comments11 Minutes

Lech Lecha 5775-2014

“Lot Grows Increasingly Estranged from his Uncle Abram”

What starts off as an extremely close relationship between Abram and his orphaned nephew Lot, eventually becomes a complete estrangement. What was the cause of that estrangement?

Read More


0 Comments7 Minutes

Bo 5774-2014

“In the Blink of an Eye”

Almost instantly, the status of the Jews in Egypt is transformed from that of vile enemy to respected friend, underscoring that salvation from G-d can occur in the blink of an eye.

Read More


0 Comments7 Minutes

Shemot 5774-2013

“G-d Recognizes His People's Sufferings”

What was it that G-d saw in the behavior of the People of Israel that caused the Al-mighty to respond to the people’s cries at this particular time?

Read More


0 Comments6 Minutes

Vayigash 5774-2013

“The Dreams and the Divine Covenant”

As Jacob’s entire family bows down before Joseph, all of Joseph’s dreams finally come true. But not only Joseph’s dreams come to fruition, the prophesies and predictions of the Covenant between the Pieces have also begun to be realized.

Read More


0 Comments8 Minutes

Korach 5773-2013

“The Rebellion Against the Lonely Leader”

What sparked the rebellion against Moses? Why was this great man the lonely leader of Israel?

Read More


0 Comments9 Minutes

Va’eira 5773-2013

"The ‘Outstretched Arm’ and the ‘Mighty Hand’"

Why does the Al-mighty rescue Israel with both an “outstretched arm” and a “mighty hand”?

Read More


0 Comments9 Minutes