Toledot 5779-2018

“The Dangers of Assimilation”

When peace was made between him and the king of Gerar, Isaac realized that it was time to move away, to distance himself so that he could maintain his strong Jewish identity and live a full Jewish life with intensity and passion. Contemporary Jews, may need to do the same to ensure their own continuity.

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Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5777-2017

“Judging Others Favorably”

Unfortunately, it is sadly true that many of us too frequently look at the negative rather than focus on the positive.

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Terumah 5777-2017

“ זִיכּוּי הָרַבִּים - Meriting the Broader Jewish Community”

The commandment to build a Mishkan, a temporary, portable Tabernacle for G-d, also includes the mitzvah to build “miniature Temples”--local synagogues. The operating principle which expands the command to build a Temple to include local synagogues, known as זִיכּוּי הָרַבִּים --“Zee’kuy ha’rah’bim” reflects the intent to bring merit to the broader Jewish community.

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B’shalach 5777-2017

“Miriam Leads the Women in Song"

In this week’s parasha, Miriam leads the women in song. It underscores the specialness of Miriam and the women of her generation, but also raises a host of issues regarding women and public singing.

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v’Zot Habracha-Simchat Torah 5776-2015

“The Confluence of v’Zot Habracha and the Holiday”

There is a strong connection between the festival of Simchat Torah and parashat v’Zot Habrachah. It is in this parasha that Moses proclaims that the Torah that Moses commanded to us is the heritage of the congregation of Jacob. What is the difference between a “heritage” and an “inheritance,” and how is this distinction transmitted through the celebration of Simchat Torah?

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v’Zot Habracha-Simchat Torah 5770-2009

"The Confluence of v'Zot Habracha and the Holiday"

There is a strong connection between the festival of Simchat Torah and parashat v'Zot Habrachah. It is in this parasha that Moses proclaims that the Torah that Moses commanded to us is the heritage of the congregation of Jacob. What is the difference between a "heritage" and an "inheritance," and how is this distinction transmitted through the celebration of Simchat Torah?

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Kee Tavo 5768-2008

"Redeeming Captives"

One of the truly haunting verses of the Torah that we encounter in Parashat Kee Tavo is the prediction that our sons and daughters will not be ours, for they will be led into captivity. The mitzvah of "Pidyon Sh'vuyim," redemption of captives, is one of the highest mitzvot in the hierarchy of biblical commandments. Redeeming our contemporary "captives" must be the call of the hour.

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Behar-Bechukotai 5766-2006

"The Economics of Torah"

In parashat Bechukotai we learn of the obligation to bring the Second Tithes as well as Animal Tithes to Jerusalem. Why Jerusalem? Since Jerusalem served as the center of Jewish religious and educational life, it needed to be properly supported. It was also the Torah's way of engaging farmers, from distant communities, in the study of Torah when they visited Jerusalem to bring their tithes.

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Acharei Mot 5763-2003

"The Jewish Method of Achieving Moral Perfection"

In parashat Acharei Mot, G-d exhorts the Jewish people to observe His decrees and His laws in order to live a sanctified life, a life of dignity and a life of meaning. But how does one live an ethical and moral life in a world that seems to be constantly drawing us away from good? Judaism's educational methodology has proven to be the most effective means of educating large numbers of people over long periods of time to ethical and moral living. Its secret is the rituals of Judaism that effectively prepare people for ethical and moral living.

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