Gay MarriageGay Israelis sound exactly like their counterparts in the US, 25 years ago. In the US, the gays are winning their battle to undermine traditional morality, in court, in the media, and even in the dictionary.
Shalshelet: The Return of the ThreesThe Hashmonians knew that victory was assured, no matter what the numbers. 5,000 Jewish soldiers could face ten times as many Greeks, it made no difference.
A Just WarA war that could have been fought differently.
The Sadigura Rebbe and Yom Haatzmaut‘Ribbono Shel Olam (Master of the Universe), may it be Thy will that I merit to take a broom and sweep the streets of Eretz Yisrael’, he prayed.
Pesach: The Mouth of JacobOur Rabbis said that in the Exile of Egypt, our power of speech was in exile, and required redemption from enslavement. That is still true.
Purim and the Green LineThere is an ultimate plan to history, G-d’s plan, and even while nothing gets in its way, we humans still paradoxically maintain full freedom of choice and action.
MK Uri Orbach and "V'Rapo Yerapeh"MK Ofer Shelach of the Yesh Atid party presented legislation to allow assisted suicide in Israel. Contrast that to a Jew's morning prayers.
The Death of Gay Marriage A response to this week's US Supreme Court decision. The Torah is explicit on the attitude to gays.
The Noah PrincipleMankind remembers Noah, and the lessons of this week’s parsha still resonate in men’s hearts, 4,116 years after the Flood. So it’s relevant to ask: Why?
Purim and the Bomb; Livni or Lau and Begin?Whom to believe: Livni, a failed politician who was one of Israel’s weakest, wimpiest FM's; her weak policies landed us in the pickle we are in today, or two Holocaust survivors, PM Begin and Rabbi Lau, who held the highest positions in this land.
Chaim Weizmann and the Heart of the MatterZionists today, both with and without kipot, are driven by the same spirit that drove Avraham Avinu so long ago, and Chaim Weizmann so recently, as in the fascinating story below.
Parshat Breishit : Orot Mei’Ofel The author explains that the Rambam, when writing of happiness, is not saying that we are to serve the Lord happily; rather, he’s saying that our service is Simcha, being happy, living happily. Ed. Note: Dr. Hirsch on the Shalit deal is at end.
Tisha B'Av and the Options MarketWe all know the type who has all the “answers” in every situation, but never THE answer, never the solution to the main problem because he doesn't even know that there is one.
A Tale of Two AdarsAn article in time for Rosh Chodesh Adar Bet, the second of the two consecutive months of Adar in this Jewish leap year.
Parshat Bo: First Things FirstIn this week's Torah reading, a new order is set as G-d says: You, Israel, are my heirs, and I now I bequeath to you the stage of history.
Vayeshev: A Settler's ChanukahA Torah essay on this week's reading whose lesson should cause Rabbi Chaim Amsallem of Shas to take heart in knowing that the Torah actually backs him, and not his Hareidi detractors.
Sukkot, Water, and BreishitSukkot is all Nature: harvest-season, etrog-citron, palm-leaves and branches. During Sukkot, we instill the "Elyon", the Almighty who is Above and who created the world, into Nature.
<I>Yitro</I>: Going the DistanceTwice, God tells Moshe <I>Rabbeinu</I> to warn the people not to come close to Mt. Sinai. In fact, Rashi comments that Moshe is puzzled by the second warning, and tells God that he's already relayed the order to distance men and animals from the Mountain of God; but God tells Moshe that he must warn the Jews a second time.
<I>Shemot</I>: A Rose By Any Other NameIt seems that appearances and manner of speech are important. They can create reality. Our sages told us (<I>Shemot Rabbah</I>, chapter 13) that "<I>B'nei Yisrael</I> were redeemed from Egypt in the merit of the fact that they did not change their names, their language and their dress."
The Ox Horn Incident"The Greeks ordered that the Jews write on the horns of their oxen: 'We have no part in the God of Israel.'" Why did Antiochus choose oxen? And even granted the agrarian nature of the Jewish nation, what did Antiochus hope to accomplish by such a bizarre decree?
Hanukkah: Threes ReduxThe Torah is begging us to look for the three that runs through the whole Yaakov story, beginning in <I>parshat Vayishlach</i> and culminating in <I>parshat Miketz</I>, with its hints of Hanukkah. That three is found on the Codex of Hanukkah - the dreidel, the <I>sivivon</I>. Can you guess?
<I>Toldot</I>: The Mothers of Our NationRivka <I>Imeinu</I> calls all the shots: in a one-of-a-kind prenatal diagnosis, only she is given the prophecy of the destinies of her twin boys. She recognizes the essences of the developing boys, and it is Rivka who devises and puts into motion the plan that brings the blessings to Yaakov.
<I>Vayera</I> and Mt. Moriah"What is <I>Har HaMoriyah</I> (Mount Moriah)? The mount from which <I>hora'ah</I> (teaching, instruction, Torah) went out to Israel." (<I>Ta'anit</I> 16a) Rashi explains: "This refers to the <I>Lishkat HaGazit</I> (the Temple's office of hewn stone) in which stood prophets."
<I>Breishit</I>: The Fourth HourAs we leave the Tishrei holiday period , we now enter the real, <I>gashmi</I> (as in <I>"mashiv haruach umorid hagashem"</I>) world.
The Dance of SukkotAnd there was dancing at the <I>Simchat Beit HaShoeiva</I>. To explain it, one must return to Yom Kippur in the Temple.
<I>Ki-Tavo</I>: The Jordan River RulesThe lesson of teamwork is of primary importance to our nation, a small, Jewish minority living in an overwhelmingly hostile Muslim Middle East. And the Torah stresses this lesson in this week's <I>parsha</I>.