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Parshat Korach: Arguments for the Sake of Heaven
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The Korach rebellion was the worst of many in the wilderness years. It involved senior figures – Korach himself, a member of Moses’ tribe, together with leading Reubenites, and 250 others, “well known community leaders.” So grave was it that it became, for the sages, a paradigm of the wrong kind of disagreement: Every argument […]
Parshat Korach: A Lesson in Conflict Resolution
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The Korach rebellion was the single most dangerous challenge to Moses’ leadership during the forty years that he led the people through the wilderness. The precise outline of events is difficult to follow, probably because the events themselves were tumultuous and disorderly. The narrative makes it clear, however, that the rebels came from different groups, […]
Parshat Korach: Leadership as Service
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If you seek to understand an accusation, look at the accuser, not the accused. Think, for example, about one of the most famous of anti-Semitic myths: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion (the classic account is Norman Cohn’s Warrant for Genocide; more recently the distinguished Israeli jurist Hadassa Ben Itto published her own account, […]
Parshat Shelach: Freedom needs Patience
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Whose idea was it to send the spies? According to this week’s sedra, it was G-d. The Lord said to Moses, “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.” So at the Lord’s command Moses sent them out […]
Parshat Shelach: Beyond The Fringe
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Our sedra ends with one of the great commands of Judaism – tsitsit, the fringes we wear on the corner of our garments as a perennial reminder of our identity as Jews and our obligation to keep the Torah’s commands: “G-d spoke to Moses, telling him to speak to the Israelites and instruct them to […]
Parshat Shelach: Beyond The Fringe
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Our sedra ends with one of the great commands of Judaism – tsitsit, the fringes we wear on the corner of our garments as a perennial reminder of our identity as Jews and our obligation to keep the Torah’s commands: G-d spoke to Moses, telling him to speak to the Israelites and instruct them to […]
Parshat Shelach: Without Walls
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Listen carefully to the report brought back by the spies sent by Moses to examine the promised land: They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. But the people who live there are powerful, and the […]
Parshat Shelach: Freedom Needs Patience
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Whose idea was it to send the spies? According to this week’s sedra, it was G-d. The Lord said to Moses, “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.” So at the Lord’s command Moses sent them out […]
Parshat Beha’alotecha: The Contradiction of Lashon Hara
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“And Miryam and Aharon spoke about Moshe regarding the beautiful woman he had married – for he had married a beautiful woman.” (BeMidbar 12:1) One of the most popular Torah topics is lashon hara – speaking negatively about another person. It seems that it is universally recognized that this behavior is prohibited by the Torah […]