Noah 5780-2019

“The Vital Importance of Truthful Judgment”
(Updated and Revised from Noah 5760-1999)

In the narrative of the Tower of Babel, the Bible depicts a would-be omniscient G-d as having to come down to see the city and the tower that the people had built. If G-d is truly omniscient, why should He have to come down; surely He knows of the wickedness of the people? The Torah is faced with a daunting challenge: Are moral lessons more important than theological truths?

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Vayeira 5775-2014

“One Woman’s Cry”

The Talmud states that because of the cries of one single young woman, the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were entirely destroyed. We must attune our ears to hear and respond to the painful realities that many Jewish women face today.

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Lech Lecha 5775-2014

“Lot Grows Increasingly Estranged from his Uncle Abram”

What starts off as an extremely close relationship between Abram and his orphaned nephew Lot, eventually becomes a complete estrangement. What was the cause of that estrangement?

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Vayeira 5772-2011

“Were Lot’s Daughters Moral or Immoral?”

After the destruction of Sodom, Lot’s daughters, thinking that the whole world had been destroyed, ply their father with wine and bear children with him. The commentators struggle with their actions.

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Vayeira 5771-2010

"Lessons from the Evil of Sodom"

The Torah tells us that when Lot went out to speak to his sons-in-law to tell them to leave Sodom, he seemed to them as if he were joking. We Jews face serious threats today as well. Let us not look upon these threats with skepticism as if to say that we are impervious to danger.

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Lech Lecha 5768-2007

"The Battle of the Four Kings Against the Five"

Parashat Lech Lecha goes into great detail regarding the battle of the four kings against the five, raising questions of its significance. By studying the details of this battle, we learn many moral lessons, once again confirming that the Torah is primarily a guide for moral and ethical living, and not a book of history.

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Vayeira 5767-2006

"Choosing The Right Neighbors"

In parashat Vayeira, Abraham moves from Elonei Mamrei to Gerar. Our rabbis wonder why. Abraham's move can be instructive to us in our efforts to select the proper community in which to live.

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Vayeira 5763-2002

"Sodom: The Home of Institutionalized Evil"

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in Sodom? Both the biblical texts and the accompanying Midrashic literature vividly describe the extraordinary evil practiced by people of Sodom, where virtue was declared vice and vice, virtue. Unfortunately, there are elements of Sodom that may be found in aspects of our contemporary society as well. If we are to protect ourselves from these harmful influences, we need to be on the alert and learn to identify those evil aspects.

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Vayeira 5762-2001

"The Akeida"

The binding of Isaac, known as the "Akeida," is one of the most noted and influential portions of the Bible, and one of the most enigmatic. The Akeida proclaimed a new and vital message to the world, boldly rejecting the abominable practice of child sacrifice that was rife among the ancient people--and usually performed in the name of the pagan deity.

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Lech Lecha 5761-2000

"Lot, Nephew of Abram: The Promise and the Tragedy"

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 probably could have been the material and spiritual heir of Abram, but instead chose the luscious plain--he chose Sodom.

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Noah 5760-1999

"Does the Torah Ever Distort the Truth?"

In the story of the Tower of Babel, the Bible depicts a would-be Omniscient G-d as having to come down to see the city and the tower that the people had built. If G-d is truly Omniscient, why should He have to come down; surely He knows of the wickedness of the people? The Torah is faced with a formidable challenge: are moral lessons more important than theological truths?

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0 Comments11 Minutes