Noah 5780-2019

“The Vital Importance of Truthful Judgment”
(Updated and Revised from Noah 5760-1999)

In the narrative of the Tower of Babel, the Bible depicts a would-be omniscient G-d as having to come down to see the city and the tower that the people had built. If G-d is truly omniscient, why should He have to come down; surely He knows of the wickedness of the people? The Torah is faced with a daunting challenge: Are moral lessons more important than theological truths?

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Devarim 5779-2019

“Judaism’s Unique View of Justice and the Judicial System”
(Revised and updated from Devarim 5760-2000)

In parashat Devarim, Moses delivers his valedictory admonition to the Jewish people. Knowing that the nation’s
security depends significantly on the efficacy of its legal system, Moses reminds the people again and again to be trustworthy in judgment. In this parasha, Moses lays out the foundation of Jewish jurisprudence, a legal system that was unparalleled in the ancient world. Summing it all up, the prophet Isaiah declares that “Zion shall be redeemed in justice, and that those who return to her shall be redeemed through righteousness.”

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0 Comments10 Minutes

Shoftim 5769-2009

"The Torah Declares War on Bribery"

Although much of western society considers bribery in judgment to be a perversion of justice, this has not always been the case. The intention of providing equal justice to all citizens is a rather recent development. In the Torah, bribery has always been looked upon as the height of venality.

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0 Comments8 Minutes

Kedoshim 5768-2008

"Establishing a Truly Ethical Society: Honesty in Business"

In parashat Kedoshim, the Torah exhorts the Jewish merchant to be honest in his weights and measures. This fundamental principle sets the tone for the extraordinary and revolutionary regulations that govern the conduct of Jewish businessmen, and serve as the guiding principles for a truly ethical and moral community.

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0 Comments10 Minutes

Va’eira 5764-2004

"The Names of G-d and Their Meanings"

The names of G-d are many, each revealing to the world a different aspect of the Creator. In this parasha, the universe's understanding of G-d is heightened by Moses to a level never before conceived, even by the patriarchs. After Moses, the world's notion of G-d is never to be the same again.

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0 Comments10 Minutes

Devarim-Tisha B’Av 5762-2002

"Judging our People Favorably"

The powerful words of Isaiah in this week's Haftorah resound today with surprising relevance, as if they were pronounced only yesterday. Despite Isaiah's harsh assessment of the people, we, like the prophet of old, need to look upon the people of Israel and judge them favorably. After all, contemporary Jews face similar challenges to those of the ancients and need to be judged favorably as well.

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0 Comments7 Minutes

Devarim 5760-2000

"Judaism's Unique Views on Justice and the Justice System"

In parashat Devarim, Moses gives his valedictory admonition to the Jewish people. Knowing that the entire nation's security rests on the efficacy of its legal system, Moses reminds the people again and again to be truthful in judgment. In this parasha, Moses lays out the foundation of Jewish jurisprudence, a legal system that was unparalleled in the ancient world. The prophet Isaiah sums it all up by saying that "Zion shall be redeemed in justice and those who return to her shall be redeemed through righteousness."

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0 Comments9 Minutes

Noah 5760-1999

"Does the Torah Ever Distort the Truth?"

In the story of the Tower of Babel, the Bible depicts a would-be Omniscient G-d as having to come down to see the city and the tower that the people had built. If G-d is truly Omniscient, why should He have to come down; surely He knows of the wickedness of the people? The Torah is faced with a formidable challenge: are moral lessons more important than theological truths?

Read More


0 Comments11 Minutes