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.

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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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Kee Tisah 5777-2017

“The Gift of Torah"

It is impossible for a mortal to comprehend Torah on the level of the Al-mighty. Moses, however, received a gift from G-d at Sinai, making it possible for any mortal who invests the effort, to gain an appropriate comprehension of Torah.

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Yitro 5777-2017

“The Earthen Altar: Reaching up to Heaven"

The Earthen Altar is intended to remind us that it is through the dust from which we were formed, that we establish sincere spiritual relationships–-not by bringing heaven down to earth, but by bringing earth up to heaven.

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0 Comments6 Minutes

Kee Tisah 5768-2008

"Moses Shatters the Tablets"

How did Moses have the temerity to break the tablets that were written by the hand of G-d? Were his actions not an unpardonable affront to the Divine presence?

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0 Comments9 Minutes

Va’etchanan 5766-2006

"A Small Verse that Started a Mighty Revolution"

Although parashat Va'etchanan is filled with many important verses and themes, one surprising verse, "You shall do what is fair and good in the eyes of G-d" (Deuteronomy 6:18), stands out for its revolutionary quality, setting a new precedent for Judaism's moral/legal underpinnings. This verse teaches that each Jew is exhorted to go beyond the letter of the law and to always strive to relate to neighbors and friends in a generous and giving manner.

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0 Comments12 Minutes

Yitro 5766-2006

"Sanctify Them, Today and Tomorrow"

In parashat Yitro we read of the Revelation at Sinai, and the special preparations the people had to make for the Revelation. G-d tells Moses to inform the people that they should be sanctified "today and tomorrow." Our commentators state that "today" may be easy to remain sanctified, but "tomorrow" is not always easy. This message applies not only to the generation of the revelation at Sinai, but to us as well. The tests that the ancients faced are, in fact, the very same challenges that we face today in the 21st century.

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Yitro 5764-2004

"Why G-d Cannot Share the Limelight"

G-d chose to speak directly to the People of Israel when He pronounced the first two statements of the Ten Commandments. These two directives set a path of exclusive monotheistic worship for the Jewish people. These words also created a foundation of moral absolutes in the world, as well as a demand for the ethical behavior expected of those created in G-d's image.

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Terumah 5763-2003

"The Mishkan and the Sanctity of the Jewish Home"

The fact that the Mishkan--the Tabernacle--and its central furnishings so closely resemble the Jewish home, underscores the sanctity of the Jewish domicile. By analyzing each of the Tabernacle's furnishings, we uncover the invaluable symbolic meanings of these furnishings that deserve to be found in every Jewish home.

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Yitro 5763-2003

"Proving G-d's existence"

While we like to speak of "proof" of G-d's existence, Judaism does not really encourage this course of intellectual exercise, simply because the "finite" human mind cannot possibly comprehend the "Infinite." But while there may not be any "ultimate" proof of G-d's existence, there are surely many, many indications and abundant evidence. Indeed, a most persuasive case, from a variety of disciplines, can be made for G-d's existence.

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0 Comments11 Minutes

Terumah 5762-2002

"The Centrality of Torah"

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 nonremovable staves, went with the people whenever they moved. This ancient practice teaches us that at the very core of our homes must be the Torah.

Read More


0 Comments7 Minutes

Yitro 5762-2002

"Structural Secrets of the Decalogue"

The Torah contains some very powerful subliminal messages that may not be articulated in the text, or written in the letters and the ink, but may be found instead in the white spaces. That is why there are many lessons to be learned from simply studying the structure of the Ten Commandments.

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0 Comments6 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