Eikev 5780-2020

“The Intermarriage Conundrum”
(updated and edited from parashat Eikev 5761-2001)

In Deuteronomy 7:3, the Jewish people are told not to give their daughters to the sons of the Canaanites or take their daughters for our sons. There really is no entirely compelling argument against intermarriage. It can only be appreciated by those who wish to play a role in the sacred mission of the Jewish people, to teach the world the idea of the sanctity of human life, and to work toward the perfection of the world under the rule of the Al-mighty.

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Passover 5780-2020

“The Essential lessons of Chametz and Matzah”
(Updated and Revised from Passover 5763-2003)

A major theme of the Passover holiday is the elimination of chametz-–leaven, and the substitution of matzah, unleavened bread, in its stead. Oddly enough, both chametz and matzah are made of the same ingredients, flour and water. Flour and water become chametz automatically if the mixture is allowed to stand. Matzah, on the other hand, before it is quickly baked, must be constantly kneaded and is not permitted to stand and ferment. We learn from the matzah-making process that truly meaningful life experiences never come effortlessly, but only through significant exertion and labor.

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0 Comments4 Minutes

Vayeitzei 5780-2019

“Who is the Real Enemy?”
(Updated and revised from Vayeitzei 5760-1999)

Despite his limited role in the biblical narrative, Jewish history portrays Laban as a significant, evil character. He plays a major role in the Passover Haggadah, where he is referred to as “the Aramaean who sought to destroy our father.” Laban is even considered more dangerous than Pharaoh. Pharaoh is an outright, public enemy. Laban, on the other hand, embraces us in a false embrace and his kiss is the kiss of death. Because he feigns love, and since we are unaware of Laban’s subtle desire to destroy the Jewish people, he is far more dangerous than Pharaoh.

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Vayeishev 5779-2018

“The Mystical Aspects of the Sale of Joseph”

The sale of Joseph by his brothers certainly impacted on the course of Jewish history. The story behind the sale is especially fascinating in its consequences.

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Lech Lecha 5779-2018

“Why Did G-d Choose Abraham?”

As opposed to other great, righteous people and leaders, the Torah does not specify why Abram was chosen by G-d.

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0 Comments7 Minutes

Shelach 5777-2017

“The Slave Mentality”

Without faith, the people cannot overcome their fears that are stoked by a slave mentality. This is not a people who can succeed in the Promised Land. Only a new generation, who have a relationship with the Al-mighty based on a loving faith will enter the land.

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0 Comments8 Minutes

Shemini 5777-2017

“The Unending Mourning"

From the deaths of Nadav and Abihu we learn that mourning for certain losses are truly never-ending.

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0 Comments7 Minutes

Shoftim 5776-2016

“The Dangers of Pridefulness"

The rabbis learn the danger of pridefulness for all, from the verse in parashat Shoftim warning the Jewish king not to be prideful.

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0 Comments7 Minutes

Shemot 5776-2016

"By What Right Does Moses Kill The Egyptian?”

The commentators are perplexed by Moses’ extremely aggressive response to the Egyptian who was beating the Hebrew. By what authority did Moses take the life of the Egyptian?

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0 Comments8 Minutes

Kee Tavo 5775-2015

“Making The Final Commitment”

While encouraging the People of Israel to make the final commitment to the Al-mighty, Moses conveyed an important message to the people that is still relevant in our time, and can prove useful in our own lives.

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0 Comments10 Minutes

Kee Tisah 5775-2015

“Aaron, What Did This People Do To You?”

The biblical narrative seems to portray Aaron as a collaborator with the people of Israel in the sinful worship of the Golden Calf. Actually, Moses and Aaron play a very delicate balancing act of leadership in order to prevent the people from total destruction for their wayward ways.

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0 Comments9 Minutes

Devarim 5774-2014

“Moses: The Lonely Leader”

According to the Gaon of Vilna, the connection between the challenge of leadership for Moses and the period of mourning for the destruction of the Temples in Jerusalem is not only how these hardships came to be, but also the loneliness that both Moses and the city of Jerusalem experienced.

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0 Comments8 Minutes

Shavuot 5770-2010

"The Gift that Keeps on Giving"

How fortunate are we, Israel, to have received the gift of Torah, from the Al-mighty. Shavuot is the holiday on which we embrace Torah, as if we are receiving it for the very first time.

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0 Comments10 Minutes

Shavuot 5769-2009

"Mother of Royalty"

In the book of Kings, it is stated that King Solomon, set a chair for the "king's mother." In the Talmud, Rav Elazar explains that this referred not to Bathsheba, but rather to the "Mother of Royalty," Ruth. It was the Moabite princess, Ruth, who preserved the quality of loving-kindness that had been long lost amongst the children of Abraham, and reintroduced loving-kindness to the world. We now pray that salvation in our time shall also come from an unexpected and remote source, to enlighten us and redeem our world as well.

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Shavuot 5763-2003

"The Remarkable Legacy of Ruth, The Righteous Convert"

The Book of Ruth could easily pass for a stirring love story. However, the Book of Ruth is far more. It is, in fact, the volume that introduces some of the most exalted philosophical and theological concepts known to humankind. It was Ruth the Moabite who restored the virtue of chessed, loving-kindness, to the people of Israel.

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0 Comments9 Minutes

Passover 5763-2003

"Chametz, Matzah and Faith in Redemption"

A major theme of the Passover holiday is the elimination of chametz--leaven, and the substitution of matzah, unleavened bread in its stead. Oddly enough, both chametz and matzah are made of the same ingredients, flour and water. However, chametz is allowed to ferment. Matzah, on the other hand, is not permitted to stand and ferment, but must be constantly kneaded. Flour and water become chametz automatically if the mixture is allowed to stand. We learn from the matzah that a truly meaningful life never comes effortlessly, but only through significant exertion and labor.

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0 Comments8 Minutes

Lech Lecha 5763-2002

"The Two Birds of Israel"

The "Covenant Between the Pieces" is full of symbolism regarding the future of the Jewish people. Three 3-year-old animals--a heifer, a goat and a ram--are slaughtered and cut in half. Two birds, a turtledove and a young pigeon, are not cut. The animals, say the rabbis, represent the nations of the world who seek to destroy the Jewish people. The birds, the turtledove and the young pigeon, on the other hand, symbolize the Jews. The animals are split in half, indicating that those nations who attack Israel will ultimately be destroyed. Scripture states that the "bird" is not cut, referring to only a single bird. Why are two birds necessary to represent the Jewish people? We are, after all, one people, not two. And why are the two birds referred to as a single bird?

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0 Comments9 Minutes

Shavuot 5762-2002

"Beyond the Book of Ruth: The Untold Story"

Why is it that we recall King David through the reading of the story of Ruth on Shavuot, asks Rabbi Eliyahu KiTov? To teach that a person can become a tool for the purpose of heaven on this earth only through affliction and suffering. This is the message that Eliyahu KiTov finds embedded throughout the Book of Ruth.

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0 Comments13 Minutes

Eikev 5761-2001

"The Intermarriage Conundrum"

In chapter 7 of Deuteronomy, we are told not to give our daughters to the sons of the Canaanites or take their daughters for our sons. There really is no entirely compelling argument against intermarriage. It can only be appreciated by those who wish to play a role in the sacred mission of the Jewish people, to teach the world the idea of the sanctity of human life, and to work toward the perfection of the world under the rule of the Al-mighty.

Read More


0 Comments15 Minutes

Vayeitzei 5760-1999

"Who is the Real Enemy?"

Despite his rather minor textual role, Jewish history portrays Laban as a significant and evil character. He plays a major role in the Passover Hagaddah, referred to in that context as "the Aramanean who sought to destroy our father." The literature is replete with all sorts of devious acts and trickery that Laban perpetrated on the Jewish people to undermine them. Laban is even considered more dangerous than Pharaoh. Pharaoh is an outright and public enemy. Laban, on the other hand, embraces us in a false embrace and his kiss is the kiss of death. He feigns love. That is why he is more dangerous than Pharaoh, since it is so difficult to recognize his subtle desire to destroy us.

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0 Comments11 Minutes