No Results Found.

A Recipe for Happiness
by in
Modern man is many things, but more than anything else, modern man is privileged. Had previous generations caught a glimpse of our lives they would have been in awe, convinced that we live in utopia. So much of the drudgework that constituted the majority of daily life in antiquity, the menial labor that made subsistence […]
Abuse
by in
Parashat Ki Tetze discusses a host of abusive behaviors, some sexual and others financial.In general, the Torah legislates against these aberrant behaviors, deeming them illegal. We have no particular difficulty understanding these laws; as a whole, theobjective of Torah lawis to create a just, healthy society. Abusive behavior of any kind runs counter to this […]
The Vagabond
by in
On a lonely dark road, swift movements, footsteps, a thud… silence: a corpse. Who was he? Presumably, the kind of person who is alone in the dark of night, the type of person who wanders from town to town, the type of person who does not really have a place he calls home; a vagabond. […]
Choices
by in
God gives man choices; these are described as blessings and curses, or life and death. Remarkably, mankind has always needed to be encouraged to choose life. This seemingly automatic, rational choice has never been the “no-brainer” it should be. Why would any sane person choose a cursed path that leads to certain death over the […]
Is “One” a Number?
by in
To a large extent, the Book of Devarim is a polemic against idolatry. Moshe instructs, cajoles and admonishes as he attempts to inspire the people to follow one God. In the portion of VaEtchanan especially, there is a positive declaration, which is often described as the credo of Judaism: “Hear o Israel: God is our […]
The Price of Hatred
by in
It is often quoted in the name of Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook that just as the Temple was destroyed due to baseless hatred, it will be rebuilt due to baseless love.While this teaching sounds simple, it is in fact highly nuanced, and deserves more serious consideration. The image that comes to mind when we hear […]
Walking in Circles
by in
There is something that may seem rather depressing about the start of the final parasha in the book of Bamidbar: The parasha begins with a retrospective of the various stops comprising the Israelites’ forty-year ordeal in the desert. Knowing, as we do, that the original plan had been to leave Egypt, make a quick stop […]
“Shall Your Brothers Go To War While You Sit Here?”
by in
“Shall your brothers go to war while you sit here?” With these words Moshe hurls a devastating moral attack against the tribes of Reuven (Reuben) and Gad, an attack that reverberates until this very day, and is used as ammunition against those who live in the modern state of Israel yet choose to take advantage […]
Fanaticism
by in
Pinchas was a fanatic. As anyone raised in western society will tell you, fanatics are bad, and the only thing worse than a fanatic is a religious fanatic. We have been raised on the axiomatic, nearly – religious certainty that religious fanaticism is the root of all evil, the underlying cause of every conflict around […]
Reading Anti-Semites
by in
Parashat Balak begins with a peek into a world that both attracts and repulses us; it is a conversation among anti-Semites regarding the Jewish Problem. This conversation interests us because, on some level, we want to know what others are saying about our people – even to the point of an obsession that enthralls and […]