Va’etchanan 5779-2019

“The Torah’s Radical Approach to Parenting”
(Revised and updated from Va’etchanan 5760-2000

In parashat Va’etchanan, we learn of the famed “fifth commandment” calling for honoring father and mother. The Code of Jewish Law goes into extensive detail regarding the obligations of honoring and revering parents. A cursory study of the Code’s directives seem to place all the obligations on the children and extend to the parents all power and authority. Ultimately, Judaism attempts to create a very delicate balance. The radical regulations of parenting set down in the Talmud and in our Code are based on insights of our Torah. They are not only ancient and insightful, they also work.

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Vayeira 5774-2013

“Greater than Welcoming the Divine Presence”

Is welcoming guests a greater mitzvah than welcoming the Divine Presence? Perhaps they are of equal value?       

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0 Comments6 Minutes

Devarim 5772-2012

"The Al-mighty’s Relationship with the Nations of the World"

As the People of Israel conclude their 40 year trek through the wilderness, they emerge as a triumphant nation, having defeated the most powerful nations in the world. Nevertheless, Moses tells them in G-d's name that they must zealously respect the rights and privileges of the other nations as well.

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0 Comments13 Minutes

Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5772-2012

"Respect for Elders"

Our rabbis suggest that according filial respect and honoring elders are the fundamental building blocks of a healthy society, without which the world would soon revert to a state of chaos.

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0 Comments7 Minutes

Vayechi 5771-2010

“A Very Imposing Camp”

The Torah informs us that when Joseph and his family went to bring his father Jacob to Canaan for burial, they were accompanied by both chariots and horsemen--a very imposing camp. Was this great retinue a reflection of the Egyptians’ enormous respect for Jacob and Joseph, or were there other, more nefarious, reasons for this show of respect?

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0 Comments9 Minutes

Korach 5769-2009

"A Controversy with an Ignoble Purpose"

In Pirkei Avot, Ethics of the Fathers, we learn what the rabbis regarded as legitimate disputes and illegitimate disputes. The lesson that rabbis in Avot teach not only clarifies the issue of disputes, but also clarifies much of what took place at the rebellion of Korach.

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0 Comments10 Minutes

Emor 5769-2009

"The Highest Mitzvah of All!"

In parashat Emor, our sages derive from the laws governing the prohibition of the priest from defiling himself to the dead, the special commandment of "Met Mitzvah," the requirement to bury an abandoned body for which there is no one else to care. It is considered by many to be the foremost mitzvah, over which no other mitzvah takes precedence.

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0 Comments10 Minutes

Vayeitzei 5767-2006

"Dissing G-d"

G-d instructs Jacob to get up and leave Laban's house. Instead of departing post haste, Jacob consults with his wives, and then decides to leave. Is this a direct affront to G-d?

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0 Comments10 Minutes

Kee Tavo 5766-2006

"Respect for the Person and the Office"

In the ceremony of the bringing of the Bikurim, the first fruits, the Torah tells us that the farmer shall come to the Priest who "shall be in those days." From these added words, the rabbis learn that we must treat the contemporary Priest with great respect, even though he may not measure up to the standards of the Priests of old. The Torah teaches us to respect not only the person of the Priest, but the office of the Priesthood as well. It is an important message for contemporary America, with many ramifications concerning the future of our country.

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0 Comments11 Minutes

Mishpatim 5764-2004

"The Al-mighty's Concern for the Dignity of the Human Being"

The Torah teaches that a person who steals an ox or a sheep and then slaughters or sells the stolen animal, must pay the value of five oxen in place of the ox, and four sheep in place of the sheep. Why is there such a stiff penalty for stealing these particular animals, and why is there a greater penalty for the theft of an ox as opposed to a sheep?

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0 Comments8 Minutes

Va’etchanan 5760-2000

"The Torah's Radical Approach to Parenting"

In parashat Va'etchanan, we learn of the fifth commandment of honoring father and mother. The Code of Jewish Law goes into extensive detail regarding the obligations of honoring and revering parents. A cursory study of the Code's directives seem to place all the obligations on the children and all the privileges on the parents. However, Judaism attempts to create a very delicate balance. The radical regulations of parenting set down in the Talmud and in our Code are based on insights of our Torah. They are ancient and insightful, and they work.

Read More


0 Comments11 Minutes