Behar-Bechukotai 5780-2020

“Setting a New Standard of Ethical Behavior”
(Updated and revised from Parashiot Behar-Bechukotai 5761-2001)

We’ve reached a point in society where even simple acts of kindness and honesty are considered “extraordinary.” As we learn in parashat Behar, the Torah’s goal is to transform such actions into ordinary actions. Judaism sets a very high standard–-it aims for Utopia.

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Nitzavim-Rosh Hashana 5779-2018

“Whatever Became of Sin?”

Parashat Nitzavim has been called “one of the greatest expositions on repentance in the Torah.” How appropriate it is to read these deeply inspiring words during the High Holy Day season.

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Lech Lecha 5774-2013

“Setting the Stage for the Jewish Future”

Our sages say that the deeds of the forefathers are signposts for the children. The story of Abraham and Sarah are truly predictive of both future Jewish history and contemporary Jewish life.

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0 Comments9 Minutes

Re’eh 5771-2011

“Listening to the Message”

How does one remain moral in an increasingly immoral environment? Ethical and moral behavior doesn't simply develop through osmosis or from preaching. Judaism maintains that living a religiously observant life results in the ability to hear G-d’s voice among the conflicting messages competing for one’s attention in a noisy world.

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Bo 5768-2008

"Is This What You Call Borrowing?"

The Torah tells us that the former Jewish slaves borrowed gold and silver utensils and garments from their Egyptian neighbors, emptying out Egypt. Couldn't the Al-mighty have found a better way to fulfill the Abrahamitic promise that the Jews would leave their exile, slavery and persecution with great wealth?

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Lech Lecha 5768-2007

"The Battle of the Four Kings Against the Five"

Parashat Lech Lecha goes into great detail regarding the battle of the four kings against the five, raising questions of its significance. By studying the details of this battle, we learn many moral lessons, once again confirming that the Torah is primarily a guide for moral and ethical living, and not a book of history.

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Va’etchanan 5766-2006

"A Small Verse that Started a Mighty Revolution"

Although parashat Va'etchanan is filled with many important verses and themes, one surprising verse, "You shall do what is fair and good in the eyes of G-d" (Deuteronomy 6:18), stands out for its revolutionary quality, setting a new precedent for Judaism's moral/legal underpinnings. This verse teaches that each Jew is exhorted to go beyond the letter of the law and to always strive to relate to neighbors and friends in a generous and giving manner.

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Yitro 5764-2004

"Why G-d Cannot Share the Limelight"

G-d chose to speak directly to the People of Israel when He pronounced the first two statements of the Ten Commandments. These two directives set a path of exclusive monotheistic worship for the Jewish people. These words also created a foundation of moral absolutes in the world, as well as a demand for the ethical behavior expected of those created in G-d's image.

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Behar-Bechukotai 5761-2001

"Setting a New Standard of Ethics"

We've reached a point in society where even simple acts of kindness or honesty are considered extraordinary. As we learn in Parashat Behar. It is the Torah's wish to transform such actions into the ordinary. Judaism sets very high standards--it aims for Utopia.

Read More

0 Comments5 Minutes