Rabbi Lazer Gurkow

Judaism ingrained in the pattern of life

Jewish festivals are connected both to history and to the yearly calendar, 2/6/2016, 6:59 PM

Yitro: An unpleasant truth

Is there a way to perceive that which is higher than our own minds?, 1/28/2016, 12:10 AM

Vaera: The bane of arrogance

Of kings and subjects., 1/7/2016, 10:30 AM

Shmot: In flow

Let's use the Exodus' lessons to galvanize another Redemption., 12/31/2015, 6:05 AM

Vayechi: What are your life goals?

Means and ends., 12/24/2015, 7:15 AM

Jacob and Joseph: A special moment

Treasure the moment one meets with a loved one after a long separation., 12/17/2015, 8:20 AM

Hanukkah and the unbreakable Jewish core

It was not the Maccabees spiritual value or scholarly abilities that galvanized the nation. It was their perfect faith, 12/12/2015, 11:31 PM

True to our faith

Living with ntegrity., 12/6/2015, 4:44 AM

Vayetze: The Jewish spectrum

The differences between Jacob’s sons could be measured in inches. And ours?, 11/19/2015, 10:06 AM

Toldot: To really trust

The ability to trust in a higher power is the source of all life. Without that, there is only me, here and now, 11/11/2015, 9:17 PM

Abraham's methods and this week's Chabad Kinus Hashluchim

The Rebbe did not bring Torah to America, but the brought America to Torah. He brought Torah out of the academies and into the streets. , 11/5/2015, 8:42 AM

Vayera: Daily sacrifice

Shedding light on the sacrifice of Isaac., 10/29/2015, 5:08 AM

Bereshit: Is Your Wife Against You or Behind You?

"It is not good for man to live alone, I shall make an assistant against him," said G-d. What does that mean?, 10/8/2015, 4:58 PM

Another Look at the Sukkah: Reason and Faith

The festival of Sukkot teaches us that reason and faith should not be used separately., 10/2/2015, 10:33 AM

Sukkot: Winning The Appeal

The Midrash teaches that the first day of the festival of Sukkot is first for the count of sins. , 9/27/2015, 7:02 AM

The Long Shofar Blast

Why repeat the long blast? What does it tell us?, 9/13/2015, 7:27 AM

Nitzavim: Get Out Of Jail

You have to want to get out to succeed in doing so., 9/10/2015, 1:10 PM

Ki Tetze: Character Lessons

Three prohibitions in this week's Torah reading in their modern, all too common, forms., 8/28/2015, 9:44 AM

Lessons from the Ashley Madison Hack

Our Sages warned: Remember what is above you: an eye watches, an ear listens and all your deeds are recorded. , 8/22/2015, 10:37 PM

Shoftim: Honest Courts

Who is the prime mover of the justice system, the defendant or the judge?, 8/20/2015, 10:10 AM

Ekev: Study First

There are two sections in the Shema that we chant every day. Both reference study and practice., 8/6/2015, 7:01 AM

Stabbing in the Name of G-d?

Homosexual intercourse is a sin in Jewish law, and even a capital sin, but so is murder!, 8/2/2015, 10:55 AM

Dvarim: How Good Is Good?

If something is entirely good, then more of it is even better. Good plus good, doesn’t equal bad. It equals very good. , 7/23/2015, 5:47 PM

The Centrality of Custom

Abandoning custom is often the first step to abandoning Judaism. The customs safeguard our Jewish identity precisely where we are vulnerable., 7/17/2015, 9:46 AM

The Mitzvah of Separating Challah: Rewarding Excellence

A spiritual analysis of the mitzvah of "taking" Challah., 6/11/2015, 10:23 AM

Post Shavuot: The Printing Press

Torah study today is compared to Microsoft and Google today., 5/26/2015, 8:59 AM

Bechukotai: Labor over Torah

When you are accustomed to a standard, no matter how high it is, it becomes your norm., 5/14/2015, 12:32 PM

Passover: I am Religious

What does it take to be able to say, I am religious?, 4/3/2015, 12:00 AM

Parshat Tzav: To do or To Get done

We spend much more time on the means than on the goal., 3/26/2015, 3:40 PM

Fear Iran? Fear G-d

Netanyahu invoked the story of Purim and from it we must learn a lesson., 3/4/2015, 7:40 AM

Tetzaveh and the News: Light In The Darkness

It is easy to fall into despair, but the deeper the darkness the brighter the light., 2/26/2015, 6:35 AM

Keeping the Torah: If we will it, it will be.

The Ten Commandments are singled out from the others because of their fundamental relevance and critical importance to all others., 2/5/2015, 8:27 AM

Beshalach: Miracle of Love

Why is the splitting of the sea considered "salvation" rather than the Exodus itself?, 1/29/2015, 8:05 AM

Vaera: The Workload

In Egypt our people experienced shortness of spirit. They didn’t study the Torah much, many worshipped idols; they simply weren’t equipped to receive Moses’ prophecy., 1/16/2015, 12:37 PM

Vayechi: A False World

A litigant once slipped a five coin bribe to the judge during a trial. Trusting that the coins were golden, the judge ruled in the litigant’s favor. Upon leaving the courtroom the judge noticed that the coins we copper. He lifted his eyes heavenward and muttered, O’, what a false world you created., 1/1/2015, 11:29 AM

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

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

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