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Why Do They Hate Us?
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In the beginning of Parshat Balak, the nations of Moav and Midyan form an alliance, although they were otherwise bitter enemies, in order to fight against the Jewish people. What motivated them to wage a war against us? The Torah explains their motivation: Moab was alarmed because that people was so numerous. Moab dreaded the […]
The Crown All Can Wear
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Moses said to the Lord, “May the Lord, God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over this community to go out and come in before them, one who will lead them out and bring them in, so the Lord’s people will not be like sheep without a shepherd.” (Num. 27:15–17) Moses was […]
Not Reckoned Among the Nations
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The year is 1933. Two Jews are sitting in a Viennese coffee house, reading the news. One is reading the local Jewish paper, the other the notoriously antisemitic publication Der Stürmer. “How can you possibly read that revolting rubbish?” says the first. The second smiles. “What does your paper say? Let me tell you: ‘The […]
Bad Man. Can’t Be a Good Prophet!
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There is no doubt. People are hard to figure out. This is not only true of us twenty-first-century ordinary mortals, but is even true of biblical characters, be they heroes or villains. Let us reflect upon the Torah readings of the past several weeks. Just two weeks ago, we read about Korach, a biblical villain. […]