Terumah 5781-2021

“The Mishkan and the Sanctity of the Jewish Home”
(updated and revised from Terumah 5763-2003)

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.

Read More


0 Comments11 Minutes

Yitro 5781-2021

“Structural Secrets of the Decalogue”
(updated and revised from Yitro 5762-2002)

The Torah contains some very powerful subliminal messages that may not be articulated in the text itself, 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.

Read More


0 Comments7 Minutes

B’shalach 5781-2021

“G-d: The Source of Sweetness”
(updated and revised from B’shalach 5762-2002)

Immediately after the great miracle of the parting of the seas, the Jews arrived at a place called Marah, where the water had turned bitter. G-d instructs Moses to throw a bitter branch into the water, and miraculously the waters become sweet. Our commentators suggest that the Torah wishes to convey the message to humankind that ultimately there is really no such thing as "bitter or sweet." Whatever we experience is merely a reflection of G-d's will.

Read More


0 Comments9 Minutes

Simchat Torah 5781-2020

“Celebrating Torah”
(Updated and revised from Simchat Torah 5764-2003)

Torah does not just punctuate, it permeates, the life of a Jew. Torah is meant to be nothing less than the Jews' preoccupation, all of the days and nights of one's life. Like the air that is breathed, or the heart that beats within a human chest, there is no possibility of Jewish life void of Torah.

Read More


0 Comments8 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

Yitro 5780-2020

“Can the Torah Forbid Feelings that are Part of Normal Human Emotions?”
(Updated and revised from Yitro 5761-2001)

3,300 years ago, when xenophobia reigned supreme throughout the ancient world, the Torah admonished Jews not to reject sage advice simply because it emanates from a non-Jewish source. In fact, Jews are encouraged to look for good and healthy ideas anywhere in the world, Jewish and secular, and embrace those ideas with open arms.

Read More


0 Comments7 Minutes

Matot-Masei 5779-2019

“Jeremiah’s Prophecy: An Ancient Message for Contemporary Times”
(Revised and updated from Matot-Masei 5760-2000)

The message of prophet Jeremiah, which is read during the “Three Weeks,” is entirely appropriate for this period of sadness that we experience each year at this time. In addition, there are distinct and powerful parallels between the rebuke that Jeremiah gave to the ancient people, and our contemporary experiences.

Read More


0 Comments12 Minutes

Pinchas 5779-2019

“The Daughters of Zelophehad: Legitimate Feminist Claims”
(Revised and updated from Pinchas 5760-2000)

Distinguishing between legitimate and non-legitimate claims has become a challenging issue, especially when “political correctness” is mixed into the brew. In parashat Pinchas, we encounter the revolutionary claim of the daughters of Zelophehad who win the right to inherit their father’s ancestral land in Israel. Along with other issues concerning women that are found in the Torah, the case of Zelophehad’s daughters underscores that Judaism was always ahead of other civilizations in establishing fair and equitable parameters for Jewish women.

Read More


0 Comments10 Minutes

Behar 5779-2019

“Wronging One Another, the Torah’s Unique Viewpoint”
(Revised and updated from Behar 5760-2000)

Jewish law maintains that vulnerable people must be especially protected from abuse. Therefore, one is forbidden to say even truthful things to them or to others that may be hurtful to them. These remarkable Torah laws provide many insights and directives that are intended to help others behave with more sensitivity toward one another, and create a more caring society.

Read More


0 Comments10 Minutes

Passover II 5779-2019

“On the Seventh Day the Walls of Water Split”
(Revised and updated from Passover 5765-2005)

According to tradition, the Children of Israel marched through the Sea of Reeds (the Red Sea) on the seventh day of Passover. The Torah, in Exodus 14, declares twice that “the waters were a wall for them on their right and on their left.” This unusual repetition of the phrase begs elucidation, and, of course, there is much to learn from this repetition.

Read More


0 Comments8 Minutes

Yitro 5779-2019

“An Encounter with Jethro and the Non-Jewish World”
(Revised and updated from Yitro 5760-2000)

3,300 years ago, when xenophobia reigned supreme throughout the ancient world, the Torah admonished Jews not to reject sage advice simply because it emanates from a non-Jewish source. In fact, Jews are encouraged to look for good, healthy and valid ideas anywhere in the world, Jewish and secular, and embrace those ideas with open arms.

Read More


0 Comments11 Minutes

B’shalach 5779-2019

“The שִׁירָה --Shira: The Source of All Song”
(Revised and updated from B'shalach 5760-2000)

According to Jewish tradition, all song emanates from the purity and devotion of the song that the People of Israel sang over three thousand years ago at the crossing of the Red Sea.

Read More


0 Comments9 Minutes

Va’eira 5779-2018

"The Cups of Redemption"

Rabbi Asher Weiss maintains that there are four levels of slavery that parallel the four languages of liberation found in parashat Va’eira, and are represented by the four cups of wine that we drink at the Passover Seder.

Read More


0 Comments8 Minutes

Vayeitzei 5779-2018

“The Deceivers are Deceived”

Jacob, the deceiver of Esau, is himself deceived by Laban. Torah law insists that employer-employee relationships must be based on truth and honesty.

Read More


0 Comments9 Minutes

Nitzavim-Rosh Hashana 5779-2018

“Whatever Became of Sin?”

Parashat Nitzavim has been called “one of the greatest expositions on repentance in the Torah.” How appropriate it is to read these deeply inspiring words during the High Holy Day season.

Read More


0 Comments8 Minutes

Korach 5778-2018

“Where Did Korach Go Wrong?”

Korach, who was reputed to be a very wise man, failed to understand that the leadership role that Moses played was not based on power, but was derived from being a devoted mentor and a master teacher.

Read More


0 Comments6 Minutes

Re’eh 5777-2017

“Coming to Jerusalem–-The Festival Pilgrimages”

The sages maintain that the Torah’s requirement for the Children of Israel to come to Jerusalem to celebrate the three pilgrim festivals, Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot, is meant to serve as far more than mere communal celebrations.

Read More


0 Comments6 Minutes

Bamidbar 5777-2017

“The Danger of Seeing the Holy Furnishings”

The closing verses of parashat Bamidbar underscore the great sanctity of the Torah, a particularly timely theme for the eve of Shavuot.

Read More


0 Comments6 Minutes

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.

Read More


0 Comments7 Minutes

Devarim 5776-2016

“Moses the Stammerer, Becomes a World-Class Orator"

At the Burning Bush, Moses describes himself as “a stammerer and stutterer.” The book of Deuteronomy testifies, however, that the tongue-tied Moses was apparently transformed into a bold and talented orator, whose words resound throughout the world to this very day.

Read More


0 Comments11 Minutes

Yitro 5776-2016

“Apparently, Not All Converts are Created Equal”

Apparently, not all converts are created equal. Jethro represents the best of all the converts, and serves as a true paradigm for future generations.

Read More


0 Comments8 Minutes

Vayeira 5776-2015

“The Trials of Abraham”

According to the Mishnah in Avot, Abraham faced ten trials in his life. It was Abraham’s preparedness to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac, through which Abraham succeeded in cleansing himself and the world from the primordial sin of the Garden of Eden.

Read More


0 Comments15 Minutes

Vayeilech-Yom Kippur 5776-2015

“Living a Truly Meaningful Life”

On the final day of his life, Moses teaches all of humankind how to live a truly meaningful life.

Read More


0 Comments12 Minutes