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Pinchas: Avoiding a Hateful Heart
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Love is an emotion. It is a feeling, often a very passionate one, that we have toward another person, creature, or object. Our Torah speaks of the love we are to have for each other, for the stranger in our midst, and for the Almighty. Scripture alludes to the love a man and woman have […]
Balak: Balaam and Dostoevsky
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Frustration. Disillusionment. But also insight and a lifelong intellectual perspective. That is how I would describe the experience I am about to share with you, dear reader. It all started with Dostoevsky. That’s right, Fyodor Dostoevsky, the famous 19th century Russian novelist, author of Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov, and much more. His […]
Chukat: The Many Songs of Leadership
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Everyone has his or her own voice. Some express it loudly and clearly; some just mumble or whisper. There are those who let their voices be heard only in their professional lives and are silent and withdrawn at home. Others use their voices only within their families and stifle their voices in the outside world. […]
Korach: Better They Learn from Me…
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Conflict resolution is one of the most important tasks in human relations at every level. Open up any newspaper, and you will read of schoolchildren bullying each other, of married couples who are in bitter conflict, of political parties enmeshed in verbal warfare, and of nations literally at war. What are some of the strategies […]
Rabbi Weinreb’s Parasha Column, Shelach
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“History Repeats Itself” History repeats itself. I don’t know the origin of that cliché, but I do know that our Sages held a similar point of view. “Ma’aseh avot siman labanim.” What happened with ancestors is often a pattern that their descendants are destined to follow. The repetitive nature of historical processes seems to be […]
Rabbi Weinreb’s Parasha Column, Beha’alotcha
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“A Second Chance” I was in a total fog during my first year in high school. I am convinced that my experience then was not unique. I entered a strange school, much larger than the one I had attended previously, and was not given the benefit of any orientation to the new environment. I did […]
Rabbi Weinreb’s Parasha Column, Bemidbar
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“Elite by Commitment” Scholars have had a lot to say about the role of aristocracy in the course of human history. Those of us who grew up in the United States of America were taught about the advantages of democracy and thus developed a prejudice against the very word “aristocracy.” We were convinced that aristocracy […]
Rabbi Weinreb’s Parasha Column, Bechukotai
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“The Walking Tour” I am the type of person who has always believed that the only way to learn about something important is to buy a book about it. For example, it has been my good fortune to have traveled widely in my life and to have visited many interesting cities. Invariably, I bought guidebooks […]
Rabbi Weinreb’s Parasha Column, Acharei Mot
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“No Exit” There is much that the Torah leaves to our imagination. Regular students of the weekly Torah portion soon become convinced that the narratives they read each week are deliberately abbreviated, as if to encourage us to fill in the missing links on our own. One outstanding example of such an incomplete narrative is […]
Rabbi Weinreb’s Parasha Column, Metzora and Shabbat HaGadol
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“Pinkus the Peddler” He was a character straight out of the novels of Charles Dickens. Scholars have long found Dickens’ attitude toward Jews problematic. The character Fagin in the novel Oliver Twist is certainly a negative stereotype, but many are unaware of the character named Riah in Dickens’ last completed novel, Our Mutual Friend. Riah […]