Rabbi Lazer Gurkow

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

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

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

Vayera: When Weakness is an Obsession

We lose sight of the forest because we become obsessed with a particular tree. Rather than working for the purpose of supporting our family, work becomes the largest objective of our lives., 11/9/2011, 5:38 PM

In the Clouds, On the Street

Can we emerge from our protective spiritual cocoons without compromising our piety and integrity?, 11/3/2011, 10:21 AM

The Key is Education

We 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., 9/22/2011, 12:04 PM

Giving With Your Whole Heart

The more often we give the more determined G-d is to continue the act of creation. , 8/25/2011, 3:53 AM

Eikev: Feeling the Crunch? Be Strong

What is popular is not necessarily right and if this is true of the markets it is even truer of religion., 8/19/2011, 4:00 PM

What I Learned from the US Debt Crisis

There are all kinds of deficits. You don't want to default on the one the writer describes., 8/6/2011, 10:28 PM

Dvarim: Whom Do You Love?

We, in the current era, place barriers around ourselves to prevent our entry into the virtual Holy Land., 8/5/2011, 10:39 AM

Lech Lecha: Save the Planet!

Abraham did not surrender and neither shall we., 10/29/2009, 10:04 AM

Simchat Torah: The Dancing Souls

A story of the bond between G-d and Jew., 10/8/2009, 11:23 PM

Sukkot: Displays of Jewish Pride

Are you Jewish outside or only inside?, 10/1/2009, 4:06 AM

Shofar: Humility and Strength

The order of these blasts is curious., 9/14/2009, 11:56 PM

Ki Tavo: Doing It G-d's Way

Reflection on our relationship with HaShem., 9/4/2009, 1:10 AM

Shoftim: Torah or Democracy

Is there a better way?, 8/21/2009, 1:10 AM

Re'eh: A Cup of Coffee

The right size lid is only half of it., 8/12/2009, 1:08 PM

Vaetchanan: Lesson From the Moon

Before the age of Apollo missions and space walks., 7/31/2009, 2:49 AM

Matot-Masei: An Anchored Journey

The message of the double Torah portion., 7/16/2009, 6:40 PM

Pinchas: A Living Heritage

Lessons from the International Dateline., 7/9/2009, 2:10 PM

Sacred Memories

The meaning of empty shoes., 6/3/2009, 11:07 AM

Shavuot: A Bailout Package

G-d also offers bailouts., 5/27/2009, 1:00 PM

Emor: Fight Them With Love

How sin highlights our strengths., 5/6/2009, 9:58 AM

Legislating Moral Conduct

Human rights commissions in light of Torah values., 5/1/2009, 12:11 AM

Tazria-Metzora: A Chance Meeting

Removing the veil - the essence of circumcision., 4/22/2009, 12:32 PM

Shemini: Passover and Beyond

Eight represents a metaphysical order., 4/17/2009, 1:08 PM

When the Sun Sings Again

A constant melody sung by the sun in praise of G-d, 4/3/2009, 12:56 AM

Vayikra: Humility in Gratitude

Let us take a lesson from the Temple sacrifices., 3/25/2009, 1:00 PM

Vayakhel-Pekudei: Monetary Unity

When charity is celebrated., 3/18/2009, 10:53 PM

Zachor: Combating the Skeptic

Amalek is the quintessential skeptic., 3/4/2009, 11:58 AM

Mishpatim: The Baby’s World

Serving G-d simply because we must., 2/18/2009, 11:56 PM

Bo: The Miracle of Nature

The spiritual significance of two calendars., 1/28/2009, 1:46 PM