B’shalach 5780-2020

“Where is Nachshon the Son of Aminadov When We Need Him?”
(Updated and revised from B’shalach 5761-2001)

Nachson the son of Aminadav, the Prince of the tribe of Judah, was the first Israelite to enter the water and walk until the water reached his neck. It was only at that point that the sea split. If we are to change the “course of nature,” for the benefit of humankind, we need to find, and exercise, the profound faith of Nachshon.

Read More


0 Comments10 Minutes

B’shalach 5779-2019

“The שִׁירָה --Shira: The Source of All Song”
(Revised and updated from B'shalach 5760-2000)

According to Jewish tradition, all song emanates from the purity and devotion of the song that the People of Israel sang over three thousand years ago at the crossing of the Red Sea.

Read More


0 Comments9 Minutes

Passover 5778-2018

“The Opening Act”

The wise authors of the Hagaddah knew well that if the reader’s or participant’s attention is not captured in the first few moments of the Seder ritual, then the likelihood of success is much diminished. That is why they created a natural, dramatic opening for the Seder, one that has had repeated success for more than two thousand years.

Read More


0 Comments9 Minutes

B’shalach 5776-2016

“The Small ‘Stuff’ is not Always Small”

Even the most seemingly “insignificant” Torah verses teach profound lessons.

Read More


0 Comments12 Minutes

Bo 5776-2016

“How Impactful was the Plague of Locusts?”

The plague of locusts is unique among the ten plagues that were visited upon the Egyptians, because it contained a message for Pharaoh, for the Egyptians and for the People of Israel, as well. How impactful was the plague of locusts?

Read More


0 Comments9 Minutes

Passover 5774-2014

“The Opening Act”

The wise authors of the Hagaddah knew well that if the reader’s or participant’s attention is not captured in the first few moments of the Seder ritual, then the likelihood of success is much diminished. That is why they created a natural, dramatic opening for the Seder, one that has had repeated success for more than two thousand years.

Read More


0 Comments9 Minutes

B’shalach 5773-2013

Why Israel Lost Faith at the Red Sea

A small verse, describing the Israelites’ panic at seeing the approaching Egyptian troops, reveals many significant lessons that help explain why Israel lost faith at the Red Sea.

Read More


0 Comments7 Minutes

Lech Lecha 5773-2012

"To the Land that I Will Show You"

Why does the Al-mighty direct Abram to leave his home in Ur Kasdim and go to the land that “He will show him,” rather than specifically instruct Abram to go to the land of Canaan?

Read More


0 Comments10 Minutes

Chukat 5772-2012

"It is a Decree Before Me–-You Have No Right to Question It!"

The Parah Adumah, the Red Heifer, is one of the most enigmatic laws of the Torah. Rashi declares that the law of the Red Heifer is a decree that mortals have no right to question. Rashi then proceeds to try to explain the enigma.

Read More


0 Comments8 Minutes

Passover II 5772-2012

“G-d Shall Do Battle for You, and You Shall Remain Silent”

On the seventh day of Passover, we celebrate the salvation of the people of Israel from the hands of the Egyptians by the splitting of the Red Sea. Faith is what worked for the people at the shores of the Red Sea, and faith is what still works for the Jewish people today.

Read More


0 Comments9 Minutes

Sukkot 5772-2011

“The Meaning of Sukkot: Insights of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch”

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch (1808-1888), the great leader of German Jewry, uncovers extraordinary insights in the mitzvah of Sukkah. Among other insights, Rabbi Hirsch boldly proclaims that the message of Sukkah is to go into the Sukkah with G-d and have ultimate faith in Him, Who sustains everyone in the wilderness and in their homes.

Read More


0 Comments11 Minutes

Nitzavim-Vayeilech 5770-2010

“Rebelling with G-d”

In parashat Vayeilech, Moses denounces the People of Israel, calling them “rebels with G-d” for a third time. What does this expression mean, and how does it reflect the Jewish people’s special relationship with the Al-mighty, even in times of rebellion?

Read More


0 Comments6 Minutes

Shelach 5770-2010

"Was the Sin of the Scouts Greater than the Sin of the Golden Calf?"

G-d forgives the people for the sin of the Golden Calf, but not when the scouts return with an evil report about the land of Canaan. Is it possible that the sin of the scouts was greater than the sin of the Golden Calf?

Read More


0 Comments9 Minutes

B’ha’alot’cha 5770-2010

"The Murmurers"

The ancient "murmurers" were people of little faith whose lack of confidence led them to mourn their own lives. Murmuring is hardly only an ancient Jewish manifestation. It is very much part of today's reality, one that leads only to greater tragedy.

Read More


0 Comments12 Minutes

Matot-Masei 5769-2009

"The Lesson of the Journeys"

Parashat Masei contains an account of the 42 locations where the people of Israel encamped during their 40 year journey in the wilderness. While the emphasis on the details seems to be unnecessary, there are many lessons to be garnered from the abundant details.

Read More


0 Comments9 Minutes

Shelach 5768-2008

"We Were like Grasshoppers in Our Eyes"

There is grave danger in the Jewish people seeing themselves as helpless and powerless. Very often this self-perception is a self-fulfilling reality. The ancient scouts saw themselves as pygmies and grasshoppers and were perceived by others as impotent and weak. We dare not allow that to happen to our generation. Strong leadership depends upon our faith in G-d and own self-confidence and self-esteem.

Read More


0 Comments9 Minutes

Mikeitz 5766-2005

"Marketing G-d by Living Example"

Too often in the history of Judaism the lesson of the sanctification of G-d's name has been taught by those who were required to give up their lives. There is unfortunately little opportunity to learn the lesson of Kiddush Hashem (sanctification of G-d's name) by living example. Yosef Hatzadik, Joseph the Righteous, is probably the first and most prominent example of one who sanctified G-d's name, and through whose actions and words was able to influence others to acknowledge G-d in their own lives.

Read More


0 Comments9 Minutes

Vayeira 5766-2005

"Confronting Adversity, Lessons from Father Isaac"

Especially when compared to the lives of the dynamic Abraham and Jacob, Isaac's life seems to be one of passivity and tragedy. And yet, with his unique ability to arise boldly from challenge and emerge from darkness, Isaac's life serves as a most valued example to his progeny. It is the model of Isaac that most closely parallels the history of the Jewish people.

Read More


0 Comments6 Minutes

Vayechi 5765-2004

"The Sealed Torah Portion"

Parashat Vayechi is the only portion in the Torah that is "sealed," beginning as a direct continuation of the previous week's parasha, Vayigash. There are many reasons suggested by the rabbis for this "closure." Their numerous responses lead us on an intriguing and revealing excursion of Judaism and Jewish history.

Read More


0 Comments11 Minutes

Yitro 5763-2003

"Proving G-d's existence"

While we like to speak of "proof" of G-d's existence, Judaism does not really encourage this course of intellectual exercise, simply because the "finite" human mind cannot possibly comprehend the "Infinite." But while there may not be any "ultimate" proof of G-d's existence, there are surely many, many indications and abundant evidence. Indeed, a most persuasive case, from a variety of disciplines, can be made for G-d's existence.

Read More


0 Comments11 Minutes

Terumah-Purim 5761-2001

"Amalek, Purim and the Mitzvah of Getting Drunk"

The Code of Jewish Law suggests that a person is required to become intoxicated on Purim until he doesn't know the difference between cursing Haman and blessing Mordechai. One explanation given for this tradition is that all year long Jews use reason as a means to faith. However, once a year, on Purim, we strip away all traces of reason and serve G-d with our faith alone.

Read More


0 Comments7 Minutes

B’shalach 5761-2001

"Where is Nachshon, the Son of Aminadav, When We Need Him?"

Nachson, the son of Aminadav, the prince of the tribe of Judah, was the first of the Israelites to enter the water and proceed to walk until the water reached his neck. It was only at that point that the sea split. If we are to change the "course of nature," we need to have the profound faith of Nachshon.

Read More


0 Comments10 Minutes

B’shalach 5760-2000

"The Shira: Source of all Song"

According to Jewish tradition, all song emanates from the purity and devotion of the song that the people of Israel sang over three thousand years ago at the crossing of the Red Sea.

Read More


0 Comments8 Minutes