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Rabbi Lazer Gurkow

Vayigash:: We Are Family

There is more that binds us than what divides us., 12/26/2014, 8:58 AM

The Diaspora Mindset and Hanukkah

Don’t buy into the notion that you can adopt western secular values without diluting your Jewish values. This fence cannot be straddled., 12/22/2014, 8:42 AM

Vayeshev: At Home

We are in the diaspora for a purpose. To help make these lands a holier and more G-dly place. But that is our job. It’s not our home., 12/11/2014, 1:57 PM

Jacob and Esau: Why We Give

That there are two basic reasons for offering a gift. One is to help the needy, the other is to gain favor with the wealthy., 12/4/2014, 11:54 AM

On the Parsha: Putting Children First

When you enter marriage to build a family, you view the entire family, children and parents, as a single unit., 11/27/2014, 7:53 AM

The Secret of Jewish Survival

It is not only our physical survival that evokes wonder, it is the survival of our spirit., 11/20/2014, 9:00 AM

The Joys of Hard Work - Learning from Abraham

What we can learn from Abraham is that rest is overrated. , 11/15/2014, 8:41 PM

Vayera: The Final Journey

The Torah doesn’t say that Abraham built an inn, but that he planted an inn., 11/6/2014, 5:41 PM

Noah: Unity of Thought

Entering the ark, entering the words of the Torah., 10/23/2014, 8:44 AM

Simchat Torah: Festival of Transformation

It is the season of transformation as well., 10/14/2014, 10:31 PM

Ki Tavo: The Ice bucket Challenge

When ice buckets started raining down on North America, rockets stopped raining down on Israel., 9/10/2014, 6:10 AM

Jewish Pride

Mount Sinai was smaller than all the other mountains., 5/8/2014, 9:04 AM

Metzora: The Jewish House

It was important to G-d that we know the value of a Jewish house., 4/3/2014, 9:06 AM

Purim Celebrates Reversing Assimilation

Exploring the word Shushan, leads to an interesting conclusion., 3/15/2014, 8:39 PM

Pikudei: To Serve Him

This essay is about silver coins because we will reference it twice in this week’s Torah reading., 2/27/2014, 5:03 PM

Vayakhel: Love

Why have the Sabbath (Shabbat) on Saturday?, 2/20/2014, 10:22 AM

Golden Calf Syndrome

Spend more time with your family. Play more often with your children. Spend more money on gifts. Give more than you take., 2/12/2014, 10:55 PM

The Sanctuary

Why 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?, 1/30/2014, 9:08 AM

Beshalach: From Many - One

We are drawn by our very nature to the unifying factor., 1/8/2014, 9:13 AM

Hebrew Months - An Inspiring Explanation

A fascinating exploration of the history of Jewish months and their names based on Ramban (Nachmanides)., 1/2/2014, 3:12 PM

No Break

It is only because those years were so good that the suffering that followed was so difficult. , 12/14/2013, 10:23 PM

Vayeshev: You Are a Gem

Why Israel and Jacob are both used for the Jewish people., 11/21/2013, 12:47 PM

No Generation Gap

The Torah guides us in grandparent-parent-child relationships., 11/1/2013, 8:53 AM

Eshel Avraham: Eat and Drink

, 10/17/2013, 9:49 AM

The Proselyte's Soul

Creating souls., 10/10/2013, 10:29 AM

Devarim: Your Dying Words

Moses 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., 7/12/2013, 11:32 AM

The Torah's Answer to Peer Pressure

It is right here in the weekly reading if you look for layers of meaning., 7/4/2013, 4:57 PM

Does Judaism Mandate Withdrawal or Engagement?

How are we expected to deal with the world?, 6/13/2013, 8:59 AM

Shlach: On the Fringes of Tolerance

Truthfully, 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., 5/30/2013, 7:29 AM

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. , 4/18/2013, 10:41 AM

The Temple of Our Home

, 3/7/2013, 2:41 PM

Purim: G-d Wants To Be Chosen

The Purim story showed for the first time that when we chose G-d at Sinai, we did it for G-d, not for us. Had it been only for what we got from G-d, we would have abandoned Him at Purim. , 2/22/2013, 2:38 PM

Mishpatim: Finding the Truth

Listening, thinking, debating - what are judges to do, according to the Torah?, 2/7/2013, 6:24 PM

Manna from Heaven: Gift Wrap

Gift wrapping sends a message to the recipient beyond the gift itself., 1/24/2013, 9:11 AM

Vayigash: Master of Self

The more powerful your personality, the more difficult it is to overpower yourself. Look at Joseph., 12/20/2012, 12:16 PM

Thoughts on the Tragic Connecticut School Massacre

The killers of children were once school children themselves. Perhaps there is where we have to start., 12/17/2012, 10:31 AM

Miketz: Emotional Starvation

Why did the thin cows swallow the robust cows and remain thin?, 12/13/2012, 8:26 AM

Civilian Casualties: The Ethical Dilemma

Jacob 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., 11/25/2012, 8:51 PM

Can I Be Happy for You?

, 11/22/2012, 9:47 PM

Vayera: Selfishness is Cruelty

The lessons of Sodom easily are transferred to the context of today., 11/1/2012, 9:16 AM

Trickledown Religion-omics

Abraham was advised to try the trickledown approach when G-d told him to step away from his father’s home, birthplace and land., 10/25/2012, 8:35 AM

Sukkot: Topping Yom Kippur

Now the work of Teshuva begins in earnest, said the sixth Rebbe of Chabad. , 9/30/2012, 2:34 PM

9th of Av: Numerical Significance

, 7/26/2012, 12:43 PM

Mattot-Masei Lead Us Home

In 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., 7/19/2012, 4:30 PM

Naso: Judaism is Egalitarian

The Jew never sought out an easy life. The Jew seeks a meaningful life., 5/31/2012, 2:00 PM

Shavuot: How to Celebrate Anniversaries

Shavuot is the anniversary of the wedding of G-d and the Jewish people at Mount Sinai., 5/23/2012, 1:45 PM

Why Doesn’t G-d Do Miracles Anymore? (Israel Reading)

The natural order was established by G-d, who prefers to leave it unchanged. A believer sees the natural order as a continuous string of miracles put in place by G-d. , 5/3/2012, 11:59 AM

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., 4/21/2012, 8:50 AM

Ki Tisa: The Cruelty of Abuse

When our ancestors worshipped the Golden Calf they were in national infancy. When they sinned, they needed reassurence., 3/9/2012, 12:19 AM

Discipline Your Child - With Love

There are two options for discipline, but they have a common denominator., 3/2/2012, 12:47 PM

Escapism is not a Solution

There are those who fix and those who flee, those who take responsibility and those who lay blame., 2/23/2012, 10:09 PM

Yitro: Should Freedom Be Imposed?

It sounds like an oxymoron, until we understand that Torah is our freedom app., 2/9/2012, 6:54 AM

B'Shalach: Prayer is the Interface of Love

Strike 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.” , 2/1/2012, 8:30 PM

Mezuzah: Interfacing with G-d

The mezuzah has a deeper meaning than protection., 1/27/2012, 8:16 AM

Rewrite Your Script

We 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. , 12/9/2011, 1:07 AM

Talking the Talk and Walking the Walk

By rights, words should be valued higher than action. Yet in this world people don’t take words seriously. If you want to make your feelings real, you have to express them through action. G-d created the world using both., 12/1/2011, 10:09 AM