Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5780-2020

"Who is Truly Religious?”
(Updated and revised from Parashiot Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5761-2001)

Traditional “religious” Jews are often identified as those who scrupulously observe the “Big Three:” Shabbat, Kashrut and the laws of Family Purity. From parashiot Acharei Mot and Kedoshim we learn that this definition needs to be updated to include an ethical component–that one must be certain to behave and act honestly and morally, within all realms of life.

Read More


0 Comments9 Minutes

Passover 5778-2018

“The Opening Act”

The wise authors of the Hagaddah knew well that if the reader’s or participant’s attention is not captured in the first few moments of the Seder ritual, then the likelihood of success is much diminished. That is why they created a natural, dramatic opening for the Seder, one that has had repeated success for more than two thousand years.

Read More


0 Comments9 Minutes

Passover 5774-2014

“The Opening Act”

The wise authors of the Hagaddah knew well that if the reader’s or participant’s attention is not captured in the first few moments of the Seder ritual, then the likelihood of success is much diminished. That is why they created a natural, dramatic opening for the Seder, one that has had repeated success for more than two thousand years.

Read More


0 Comments9 Minutes

Emor 5773-2013

"Sanctifying G-d’s Name"

Chilul Hashem, the profanation of G-d’s name, is one of the most severe sins a Jew can commit, while sanctifying G-d’s name is one of the greatest mitzvot a Jew can perform.

Read More


0 Comments9 Minutes

Emor 5771-2011

"Sanctifying and Defiling G-d’s Name"

Two prominent laws are found in parashat Emor that serve as foremost guideposts for the proper behavior of the Jewish people. Kiddush Hashem calls for the sanctification of G-d’s name. Hillul Hashem forbids the profanation and desecration of G-d’s name.

Read More


0 Comments11 Minutes

Kee Teitzei 5768-2008

"The 'Mitzvah' of Divorce"

Parashat Kee Teitzei includes the "mitzvah" to divorce one's wife. Upon further elucidation we see that this applies only when the spouses find life with each other to be incompatible. Nevertheless, Judaism believes that in order to establish a sacred and holy society, marriages must thrive in a sacred and holy environment. If not, it is a mitzvah to divorce one's spouse.

Read More


0 Comments8 Minutes

Kee Teitzei 5766-2006

"The Mitzvah of Marriage, Kiddushin and Ketuvah"

In parashat Kee Teitzei, we find that a positive mitzvah, the mitzvah of marriage, is derived from a negative mitzvah, the prohibition of defaming one's wife. With the mitzvah of marriage, the ketubah, a most remarkable ancient document to guarantee women's rights, is also introduced.

Read More


0 Comments8 Minutes

Kedoshim 5765-2005

"Living a Sanctified Life"

The revolutionary concept of living a sanctified life might seem daunting, but in reality it is a goal to be aspired to by every Jew. The exalted concept of being G-d-like is not out of the realm of human possibility.

Read More


0 Comments5 Minutes

Shemini 5763-2003

"Using, Not Abusing, the Sanctified Substance"

The severe punishment meted out to the sons of Aaron leaves us with a powerful reason to carefully study the Jewish attitude towards intoxicants and drugs. Alcoholism and drug abuse is serious business, not something that can be ignored. Wine is a divine gift, and plays a key role in Judaism. Yet, we need to make certain that it is treated as a special gift and imbibed with respect.

Read More


0 Comments10 Minutes

Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5761-2001

"Who is Truly Religious?"

People often define a traditional Jew as one who keeps the "Big Three:" Shabbat, Kashrut and the laws of Family Purity. From parashat Kedoshim we can learn that this definition needs to be revised and updated to include an ethical component--that one must behave and act morally, especially within the realm of business.

Read More


0 Comments8 Minutes