Noah 5781-2020

“Noah: The Man Who Brings Comfort to the World”
(updated and revised from Noah 5761–2000)

Abram was very close to his orphaned nephew, Lot, and did his best to educate him in the ways of morality and ethics. But, Abram and Lot soon grow apart because of Lot's obsession with comfort and wealth. At first, Lot showed great promise. In fact, he possibly could have become the material and spiritual heir of Abram, but instead he chose the luscious plain--he chose Sodom.

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Matot 5771-2011

“Leadership and its Moral Responsibilities”

Parashat Matot underscores the complexity of Jewish leadership. It is from the episode in this parasha that our rabbis derive the important principle that leaders are to be held responsible for the wrongdoings of the people, for they have the power and authority to protest.

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Bamidbar 5769-2009

"Bringing Order to the Camp of Israel"

When it came to setting up the camp of Israel in the wilderness, two influences were significant. The angels at Sinai who surrounded G-d, and the directives that Jacob bequeathed to his children at the time of his death. Establishing healthy and secure family relationships often requires Divine intervention, but the human role must not be underestimated.

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Eikev 5763-2003

"Is there Truth to the Notion of Spiritual Accountability?"

In the second paragraph of the Shema, we read of the Jew's relationship of responsibility and accountability toward G-d. Could it be that just as there is a physical accountability in the world, there is a spiritual accountability, as well? The Torah categorically affirms this notion.

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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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Shoftim 5761-2001

"Security for Citizens and Caring for Guests"

In parashat Shoftim, we encounter the ritual of eglah arufah, the ceremony of the heifer that is put to death. We learn from the ritual of eglah arufah, in which both city officials and hosts, in general, have a responsibility of escorting visitors and making certain that they can travel safely from one city to another. Those who fail to provide security, are held morally responsible. It applies for those who welcome visitors into their homes today as well.

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Noah 5761-2000

"Noah: The Man Who Brings Comfort to the World"

In the persona of Noah, our commentaries uncover a person of abundant talent. He is the first person whom the Torah refers to as "ben" (son), derived from the Hebrew word to build. Noah indeed is a primary builder of the world, a role that is continued by many of his descendants. Noah also brings comfort to the world, which is what the name "Noah" literally means. It is Noah who teaches humankind that technology has the power to reduce pain and travail, and that children can be a consolation for their parents' inability to complete their tasks. It is Noah who has the ability to bring comfort and uncover goodness, even in times of adversity.

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