Yitro 5780-2019

“Can the Torah Forbid Feelings that are Part of Normal Human Emotions?”
(Updated and revised from Yitro 5761-2001)

3,300 years ago, when xenophobia reigned supreme throughout the ancient world, the Torah admonished Jews not to reject sage advice simply because it emanates from a non-Jewish source. In fact, Jews are encouraged to look for good and healthy ideas anywhere in the world, Jewish and secular, and embrace those ideas with open arms.

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0 Comments7 Minutes

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

Yitro 5779-2019

“An Encounter with Jethro and the Non-Jewish World”
(Revised and updated from Yitro 5760-2000)

3,300 years ago, when xenophobia reigned supreme throughout the ancient world, the Torah admonished Jews not to reject sage advice simply because it emanates from a non-Jewish source. In fact, Jews are encouraged to look for good, healthy and valid ideas anywhere in the world, Jewish and secular, and embrace those ideas with open arms.

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0 Comments11 Minutes

Balak 5771-2011

"Taking the Law Into One’s Own Hand"

In response to a lewd sexual act performed publicly by Zimri and Cozbi, Pinchas the son of Elazar responds zealously, spearing the perpetrators and killing them. How does tradition look upon Pinchas’ decision to take the law into his own hands?

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0 Comments10 Minutes

Yitro 5771-2011

"The Dark Side of Judaism"

Not only does the Torah revolutionize theology by declaring that Jewish religious leaders are fallible, it goes much further, often even highlighting their shortcomings. This is so very different from what is portrayed by other faith systems, where religious leaders are always infallible and never depicted as mistaken or ever saying or doing anything wrong.

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0 Comments8 Minutes

Yitro 5765-2005

"Jethro's Advice to an Overburdened Leader"

Jethro warns his son-in-law, Moses, that he is in danger of burning out by biting off more than he can chew. It takes a great man like Moses to heed Jethro's difficult advice and share the leadership responsibilities with others. The well-being of the People of Israel was always Moses's utmost concern, hence, his decision to delegate authority resulted in great benefit for the People of Israel.

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0 Comments7 Minutes

Mishpatim 5763-2003

"Justice! Justice!"

The Torah introduces revolutionary ideas in its code of Jewish civil and criminal jurisprudence. Among these concepts is the prohibition against double jeopardy, the prohibition against favoring a defendant because he/she is wealthy or poor, good or evil. Judgement must be rendered based only on the actual merits of a case and nothing else.

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0 Comments5 Minutes

Mishpatim 5762-2002

"'An Eye for an Eye' in Jewish Law"

If an "eye for an eye" in the Bible does not literally mean an eye for an eye, but rather monetary compensation, why then does the Torah use this expression?

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0 Comments8 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."

Read More


0 Comments9 Minutes

Yitro 5760-2000

"An Encounter with Jethro and the Non-Jewish World"

3,300 years ago, when xenophobia reigned supreme throughout the ancient world, the Torah admonished Jews not to reject sage advice simply because it emanates from a non-Jewish source. In fact, Jews are encouraged to look for good and healthy ideas anywhere in the world, Jewish and secular, and embrace those ideas with open arms.

Read More


0 Comments10 Minutes