Pikudei: To Serve HimThis essay is about silver coins because we will reference it twice in this week’s Torah reading.
Golden Calf SyndromeSpend more time with your family. Play more often with your children. Spend more money on gifts. Give more than you take.
The SanctuaryWhy the Replica? Have you ever noticed that we go out of our way to turn the Sanctuary into a replica of the Bet Hamikdash, the ancient temple?
No Break It is only because those years were so good that the suffering that followed was so difficult.
Devarim: Your Dying WordsMoses was wise to wait till the end with his reprimand because a dying person is given more leeway. If a healthy person reprimands it provokes defensiveness and resentment.
Shlach: On the Fringes of ToleranceTruthfully, the only times we can be tolerant is if we are not truly invested in the values or in those who hold them. Tolerance for every possible opinion can only mean that you cherish no opinion as sacred truth.
Acharei Mot: Response to Tragedy When we can no longer be happy, we discover that happiness was never the goal. The goal was greater than us and in that there is meaning, happiness and infinite achievement. In this there is G-d.
Vayigash: Master of SelfThe more powerful your personality, the more difficult it is to overpower yourself. Look at Joseph.
Civilian Casualties: The Ethical DilemmaJacob was concerned about collateral damage. He worried that others might be killed in the heat of battle. He was not worried about harming Esau, who was out to kill him.
Trickledown Religion-omicsAbraham was advised to try the trickledown approach when G-d told him to step away from his father’s home, birthplace and land.
Mattot-Masei Lead Us HomeIn Israel I am religiously at home. Everything falls into place. The land itself is holy. Its spirit resonates with mine, its rhythms match my own and its history is my-story. The feelings of a Jew who has yet to make aliyah.
Tazria Metzora: Do We Really Have Free Choice?We are familiar with the famous dictum Ubacharta Bachayim, you shall choose life. The Torah’s use of the word, choose, enshrines the principle of free choice. But many are surprised to learn that this is not always so.
Ki Tisa: The Cruelty of AbuseWhen our ancestors worshipped the Golden Calf they were in national infancy. When they sinned, they needed reassurence.
B'Shalach: Prayer is the Interface of LoveStrike while the iron is hot, while opportunity lives. Tap into the intense flow of love brought to the fore by our momentous bond with G-d during prayer and you will see “water flow from the rock.”
Rewrite Your ScriptWe can change our scripts because they are ours, they belong to us. No one scripts them for us and no one foists them on us.
The Key is EducationWe can all be young at heart with a thirst for knowledge and enthusiasm for learning. Let us therefore commit ourselves to the best of Jewish education for our children and ourselves.
Dvarim: Whom Do You Love?We, in the current era, place barriers around ourselves to prevent our entry into the virtual Holy Land.
Brain DeathTo those who argue that Torah without science is incomplete, the author responds that science without Torah is tragic.
Purim: When Hebrews Became JewsDid you know that the first time the word Jews is used to describe the Chosen People, is in the text of the Scroll of Esther?
The Jewish WomanWomen are the vanguard of the Jewish people. What is their secret?
Chayei Sara: The Sacred SpaceWomen are different from men; as different as different can be. Yet despite the differences or perhaps because of them, a marriage can thrive. G-d is different from us, yet because of those differences our marriage with Him also thrives.
Parshat Re’eh: True KindnessThe truest form of charity is to provide without discrimination. This means that we leave it to the poor to decide what is important and what is not.
Balak: What the Mitzvah RevealsThrough the Torah portion of Balak, we learn how how every Jew has the power to bring about Moshiach through observing the commandments.
Emor-The Ironic Act of LoveIn this coming Sabbath Torah reading, we read of the blasphemer in the desert. The punishment he received had a purpose.
<I>Yitro</I>: Piercing the Veil of EarthIt appears that the angels raised a valid question that Moses deflected brilliantly, but failed to answer. The angels argued that a mystical, sacred and divine Torah belongs in the heavenly abode. Its place is with angels, who would cherish her appropriately and revere her inherent value.