Shelach 5779-2019

"Finding Meaning in the Rituals"
(Revised and updated from Shelach 5760-2000)

In parashat Shelach we read the well-known third paragraph of the Shema prayer concerning the Tzitzit, the fringes. It is one thing to profess love of G-d and to accept responsibility and accountability. But, the bottom line in Judaism is always action! By emphasizing the ritual of Tzitzit, fringes, our sages tell us that the essence of our relationship with G-d is how we act toward Him. Professing our love for Him and accepting responsibility and accountability is simply not enough. This, once again, confirms that in Judaism, “rituals work,”–-they really do.

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0 Comments10 Minutes

Tzav 5767-2007

"Karayt --The Dreaded Heavenly Punishment"

There is nothing more dreaded in the Torah than the punishment of Karayt--excision. The nature of this punishment and upon whom is it visited is a matter of broad dispute among the commentaries, leaving many questions unanswered. The great fear of this punishment, however, brings many to think twice before doing evil.

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0 Comments11 Minutes

Haazinu 5765-2004

"Judging Others Favorably and its Impact on Our Own Judgment"

There are many factors that are taken into consideration when the Al-mighty brings us to judgment before the heavenly tribunal. If we judge other human beings favorably in our own human relationships, we can then argue before G-d that we too deserve to be judged favorably.

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0 Comments7 Minutes

Re’eh 5764-2004

"Identifying a True Prophet"

Identifying and distinguishing a true prophet from a false prophet is rather difficult. It is particularly complicated because the Torah maintains that the prophecies and predictions of false prophets may come true, and that the message of even a true prophet may, at times, not be fulfilled. The issue of identifying true prophecy has been fraught with danger for the Jews, especially during the last 2000 years of Christian history.

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0 Comments9 Minutes

Shelach 5760-2000

"Finding Meaning in the Rituals"

In parashat Shelach we read the well-known third paragraph of the Shema prayer concerning the tzitzit, the fringes. It is one thing to profess love of G-d and to accept responsibility and accountability. But the bottom line is: actions! By emphasizing the ritual of tzitzit, fringes, our sages tell us that the bottom line in our relationship with G-d is how we act toward Him. Professing our love for Him and accepting responsibility and accountability is simply not enough. This, once again, confirms that in Judaism, "rituals work"--they really do.

Read More


0 Comments9 Minutes