Pekudei 5765-2005

"Bezalel: the Artist who Broke the Mold"

In parashat Pekudei, the Tabernacle is finally completed and erected. No one involved in its fashioning deserved to celebrate the completion of G-d's "dwelling place" more than Bezalel, who supervised its construction. No one deserved to glory in its beauty more than Bezalel, and yet this artist humbly fulfilled every instruction that he received from G-d, and did not feel himself at all reduced by being a mere "implementor." There is much we can all learn from Bezalel's humility and self-effacing attitude.

Read More


0 Comments7 Minutes

B’shalach 5765-2005

"Vah'chah'moo'shim“-A Call to Arms"

In parashat B'shalach the Torah tells us that the Israelites went out of Egypt, "chah'moo'shim," usually translated as "armed." Chah'moo'shim however is a word that has many interpretations and many deep and subtle meanings that teach us that much more than physical/military defense is needed to protect the Jewish people.

Read More


0 Comments10 Minutes

Kee Tisah 5764-2004

"Limitless Leadership"

After the people of Israel are unfaithful to G-d and worship the Golden Calf at the foot of Mount Sinai, Moses, the paradigmatic selfless leader, stands up for his people and demands that they be forgiven. His love for Israel is total and unswerving, even to the point of making the ultimate sacrifice on their behalf. As a doting "shepherd" concerned for the needs of his flock, Moses cares for this stiff-necked nation that was recently introduced to freedom.

Read More


0 Comments9 Minutes

Chukat-Balak 5763-2003

"How to Market G-d!"

In parashat Chukat, the Jewish people, once again challenge G-d by speaking against the Al-mighty and Moses and asking, "Why did you bring us out of Egypt to die in the wilderness...?" In response to this arrogant display of lack of faith, G-d sends fiery serpents to attack the rebellious hordes, and a large number of people die. To stop the plague, Moses builds a fiery serpent and places it on a tall pole so that all who are bitten will look at the serpent and live. What is the role of this serpent? After all, it seems to be very much akin to voodoo.

Read More


0 Comments8 Minutes

Tzav 5763-2003

"What we Learn from the Jewish 'Caste System'"

How does Judaism justify its seemingly discriminatory communal structure of Kohanim-Priests, Leviim-Levites and Israelites?

Read More


0 Comments9 Minutes

B’shalach 5762-2002

"G-d: The Source of Sweetness"

Immediately after the great miracle of the parting of the seas, the Jews arrived at a place called Marah, where the water had turned bitter. G-d tells Moses to throw a bitter branch into the water and miraculously the waters become sweet. Our commentators suggest that the Torah wishes to convey the message to humankind that ultimately there is really no such thing as "bitter or sweet." Whatever we experience is merely a reflection of G-d's will.

Read More


0 Comments7 Minutes

Vayigash 5762-2001

"The Virtues of Assimilation"

Once the brothers arrive in Egypt, there develops a difference of "philosophy" between Joseph and his siblings regarding assimilation and the possible loss of national identity while in Egypt. The brothers prefer to avoid any hint of permanent settlement in Egypt. By not establishing comfortable homes in Egypt, they hope to assure Israel's eventual exodus. Joseph, however, was optimistic about his family being able to lead a productive Jewish life in Egypt. Joseph does not see assimilation as total evil, but rather as a possible source of cultural enrichment, without resulting in a loss of personal identity.

Read More


0 Comments12 Minutes