Matot-Masei 5779-2019

“Jeremiah’s Prophecy: An Ancient Message for Contemporary Times”
(Revised and updated from Matot-Masei 5760-2000)

The message of prophet Jeremiah, which is read during the “Three Weeks,” is entirely appropriate for this period of sadness that we experience each year at this time. In addition, there are distinct and powerful parallels between the rebuke that Jeremiah gave to the ancient people, and our contemporary experiences.

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Haazinu-Rosh Hashana 5774-2013

"Jewish Normal, Is Not Very Normal"

We live in remarkable times, anomalous times, times that have no precedent in all of Jewish history. Our current experiences with relative peace and tranquility can hardly be called “Jewish normal.”

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Matot-Masei 5769-2009

"The Lesson of the Journeys"

Parashat Masei contains an account of the 42 locations where the people of Israel encamped during their 40 year journey in the wilderness. While the emphasis on the details seems to be unnecessary, there are many lessons to be garnered from the abundant details.

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0 Comments9 Minutes

Tzav 5766-2006

"Zevach Sh'lamim --Learning to Celebrate Life"

Among the varied sacrifices that the ancient Israelites offered, one of the most intriguing was the Zevach Sh'lamim, the Peace offering, that includes the thanksgiving offering. Our sages teach that the thanksgiving offering will never cease, and that the prayers of thanksgiving will never be discontinued. It is the duty of all of humankind to learn how to properly celebrate life, so that we may sufficiently appreciate what we have, and with profound gratitude express how truly great the gifts of our lives are.

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0 Comments6 Minutes

Re’eh 5764-2004

"Identifying a True Prophet"

Identifying and distinguishing a true prophet from a false prophet is rather difficult. It is particularly complicated because the Torah maintains that the prophecies and predictions of false prophets may come true, and that the message of even a true prophet may, at times, not be fulfilled. The issue of identifying true prophecy has been fraught with danger for the Jews, especially during the last 2000 years of Christian history.

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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

Bo 5761-2001

"The Slave Mentality"

The Mechilta tells us that what a simple maidservant saw at the Red Sea even the greatest prophets of the future were not to see. If G-d was so close and so palpable to the ancient Israelites, how then was it possible for the Jewish people to lose faith so quickly? Unfortunately, this generation of Hebrews, who were brought up in Egyptian slavery that lasted for over 100 years, were unable to disassociate themselves from the slave mentality that they had acquired. Not even miracles could change their fixed attitudes. Therefore, that generation could not enter Israel and had to be replaced with a more appropriate generation, one that was born in freedom.

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0 Comments7 Minutes

Mikeitz-Chanukah 5761-2000

"What is Chanukah really about?"

Given the massive assimilation in our times, it is no longer enough to passively light our candles on our windowsills or in our doorways. We must light our candles in our homes, on our tables and in our hearts, thus reaffirming our Jewish commitment. In this manner we may increase the light of our Chanukah candles, until the entire world is illuminated by these lights spreading the values of our Torah and our traditions.

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0 Comments7 Minutes

Matot-Masei 5760-2000

"Jeremiah's Prophecy: An Ancient Message for Contemporary Times"

The message of Jeremiah, which is read during the Three Weeks, is entirely appropriate for this period of sadness that we experience at this time of the year. There are distinct parallels between the rebuke that Jeremiah gave to the ancient people and our contemporary experiences.

Read More


0 Comments11 Minutes