Devarim 5781-2021

“Judging Our People Favorably”
(Updated and revised from Devarim 5762-2002)

The powerful words of Isaiah in this week's Haftarah resound today with surprising relevance, as if they were pronounced only yesterday. Despite Isaiah's harsh assessment of the people, we, like the prophet of old, need to look upon the people of Israel and judge them favorably. After all, contemporary Jews face similar challenges to those of the ancients, and need to be judged favorably as well.

Read More

0 Comments9 Minutes

Tetzaveh 5780-2020

“The True Story of Purim”
(updated and revised from Tetzaveh 5761-2001)

The party that King Ahasuerus throws was not only to prove the King’s legitimacy as a monarch, but also to celebrate the destruction of the Jewish people, confirming that the prophecy of a rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem would not be fulfilled. Incredible as it may seem, the Jews of Persia participated in the party with great enthusiasm. For the Jews to be spared from Ahasuerus and Haman, it was necessary for them to rise and to publicly affirm G-d’s supremacy.

Read More

0 Comments13 Minutes

Terumah 5780-2020

“The Centrality of Torah”
(updated and revised from Terumah 5762-2002)

The Holy Ark was the central furnishing of the Mishkan (Tabernacle), which housed the Torah. Since Torah is the elixir of life for the Jewish people, the Ark, with its non-removable staves, always traveled with the people whenever they moved. This ancient practice marked indelibly on all Jews, that at the very core of our lives must be the Torah.

Read More

0 Comments8 Minutes

Terumah 5779-2019

“The Mishkan: Underscoring the Centrality of the Home in Jewish Life”

The Mishkan–the Tabernacle–is very much like a home, and has all the furnishings that are found in a home. The fact that our synagogue is called a Beit Kinesset, a house of coming together, underscores the importance of the home. Unless our homes serve as dwelling places for G-d, there will be little chance that our religion will be effectively communicated in our synagogues or in our temples.

Read More

0 Comments14 Minutes

Emor 5775-2015

“Distractions, Distractions!”

Just as the ancient priests were bidden to singularly focus on their work in the Sanctuary, so too must all Jews today endeavor to focus on our peoples’ mission to become a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.

Read More

0 Comments11 Minutes

Yitro 5775-2015

“I Shall Come to You and Bless You”

There are many important lessons to be learned from the verse in parashat Yitro: “Wherever I cause My Name to be mentioned, I shall come to you and bless you.”

Read More

0 Comments7 Minutes

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?       

Read More

0 Comments6 Minutes

Va’etchanan 5773-2013

"Behold the Beauty of the Land"

Moses pleads with G-d to allow him to enter the Promised Land to see the “good land,” the “good mountain” and “the Lebanon.” What exactly was Moses hoping to accomplish with this fervent plea?

Read More

0 Comments8 Minutes

Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5773-2013

"The Sanctity of The Holy of Holies"

What is the role, function and mystique of the “Holy of Holies?”

Read More

0 Comments10 Minutes

Tetzaveh 5773-2013

"The Centrality of Light"

Why does the commandment of lighting the candles appear at the beginning of this week’s parasha, rather than after the completion of the building of the Mishkan and the placement of the utensils?

Read More

0 Comments9 Minutes