Daniel Pinner

The Seder Night: An Invitation

Abraham and Lot invited guests into their home as we do at the Seder., 4/3/2015, 12:00 AM

Shabbat Hagadol and Parshat Tzav

In the word mokdah: the first letter, the mem, is traditionally written smaller than all the other letters. Why?, 3/26/2015, 3:31 PM

A new Book, a New Month, a New Year, a New Era

Parashat Vayikra and Shabbat Hachodesh: Why was the first national mitzvah that G-d ever gave the commandment to institute a calendar?, 3/19/2015, 9:04 PM

The Inevitable failure of the Zionist Union

Why, after all, should any voter elect a poor imitation when the real thing is available? , 3/13/2015, 12:01 PM

A Guide to Shabbat Shekalim, Zachor, Purim, and Ki Tisa

This is the sixth time that this sequence has occurred in the last 30 years., 3/4/2015, 11:19 AM

Half-Way Through the Book of Exodus

This parsha emphasizes the role of justice and worthy judges, an essential step towards Redemption., 2/13/2015, 11:05 AM

Sending Israel on its Mission

What does it mean to be G-d’s “Kingdom of Kohanim”?, 2/6/2015, 9:01 AM

At the End of the Exile

Jews have in them a mingling of hope for redemption and despair of its ever happening. But when encountering death, we are on the brink of new life!, 2/2/2015, 12:05 AM

Parshat Bo: Arguing Against Redemption, Then and Now

History, and the Jews' response to it, repeats itself. , 1/22/2015, 8:44 AM

The Staff of Peace and the Staff of Justice

Why it was Aaron’s staff rather than Moshe’s which G-d transformed into a crocodile when confronting Pharaoh?, 1/16/2015, 12:39 PM

Shemot: Who is worthy of being a leader of Israel?

Moses,David and Amos were shepherds., 1/8/2015, 2:13 PM

10th Tevet 5775: How Quickly Hanukkah is Forgotten!

The Fast of the 10th of Tevet coincides with the Gregorian new year this time around. Fast or feast? Mourn over the destruction of Jerusalem? Or celebrate Sylvester named for a highly unsavoury pope and “saint”?, 12/31/2014, 10:19 PM

Miracles After Hanukkah

We can look at miracles as being (potentially at least) every event that ever happens. , 12/27/2014, 10:05 PM

Hanukkah: The Price of Treason, the Fight for Freedom

The Seleucid Dynasty met its match and was defeated by the Maccabees' fight against tyranny and treason and who may have given other countries under Seleucid rule the courage to revolt. , 12/22/2014, 8:49 AM

Vayishlach: Bowing to the Enemy, Then and Now

What would the Ramban have said had he seen the modern rulers of Israel's obsequiousness before the rulers of modern-day Rome, Turkey, and the Arabs?! And how will future generations rationalize how they brought the enemies of Israel into Israel?!, 12/5/2014, 10:38 AM

Birth of a Nation

The memory of our ancestors can inspire us all and infuse us with hope: our nation itself was born in exile., 11/30/2014, 7:07 PM

Loving-kindness and Truth

175 years ago this week, on Shabbat Parashat Toldot, 2nd Kislev 5600 the Kotzker Rebbe threw his hassidim, and ultimately the entire hassidic world, into turmoil., 11/20/2014, 10:59 PM

Ishmael and Civilized Human Society

"A wild man, his hand against everyone and everyone's hand against him", 11/15/2014, 5:48 PM

The Forefathers as Forerunners of Jewish Destiny

However we interpret Abraham’s actions, it is obvious that he didn’t leave the Land of Israel, the Land which G-d had promised to his descendants, simply because he could find chocolate-flavoured puddings cheaper in Egypt. , 10/31/2014, 8:52 AM

The Death of Evil People

Mishnah, Sanhedrin: "The death of evil people is pleasant and beneficial for them, and pleasant and beneficial for the world.”, 10/23/2014, 10:30 AM

The Sukkah of faith, the Sukkah of redemption

We take our leave of the Sukkah on Erev Shmini Atzeret/Simchat Torah. A review., 10/14/2014, 10:10 PM

The Ultimate Sabbath

The sequence of Yom Kippur falling on Shabbat four out of five years is extremely rare., 9/30/2014, 10:18 PM

Nitsavim-Vayelech: Stand Proud!

Stand proud! You have free will!, 9/18/2014, 11:48 AM

Gaza: How to Perpetuate the Conflict

Is demilitarisation of the Gaza region feasible? It has already been tried. In the Kadesh Campaign, 1956. It lasted for a day and a half., 9/1/2014, 9:26 AM

Eikev: The Golden Calf Still Echoes

The sin still resounds, but there is also the eventual reward., 8/14/2014, 8:40 AM

9th of Av: 5774

Destroying the Temples affected the entire world. And how little the world has changed since that calamitous day 1,944 years ago!, 8/5/2014, 4:14 PM

The Headline You Will Never See

Some civilians are more equal than others., 7/22/2014, 7:11 AM

Mattot: The Purpose of War

This week's Torah reading includes the command to wage war under certain circumstances., 7/17/2014, 10:39 AM


Pinchas exhibited compassion in a way that G-d ratified., 7/10/2014, 12:16 AM

Chukat: The King of Arad Takes a Captive

A nation that is worthy of independence in its homeland goes to all-out war to defend its own – and even to bring back a servant who is held captive., 6/26/2014, 12:47 AM

A Lesson in Practical Repentance

It is now less than seven weeks until the ninth of Av. The decision is in our hands., 6/16/2014, 3:56 PM

A Second Chance

This Torah reading includes the quintessential second chance., 6/6/2014, 3:15 PM

The Return of the Estranged Wife

This is the sole example where a person’s guilt or innocence is determined not by a court, not by witnesses or by evidence, but by G-d’s direct miraculous intervention. , 5/30/2014, 6:57 AM

The 6 Day War - Paradigms of Miracles

In many ways, the Six Day War straddles the boundary between hidden miracles and revealed miracles. Both happened before our eyes. And they are still happening, but we have to look., 5/27/2014, 7:29 AM

In the Eye of the Beholder

As long as we realize that events are not happenstance, G-d will reward and punish us according to our actions., 5/15/2014, 3:00 PM

Whose Land is This Anyway?

This is the parashah in which G-d decrees that the Land will return to its original owner., 5/8/2014, 8:59 AM

The Dawn of Redemption

“Such is Israel’s redemption. At first it comes slowly by slowly, and as it progresses its light increases”. , 5/5/2014, 5:21 AM

The Theme of the Parsha

, 5/1/2014, 10:33 AM

A Wide-Ranging Torah Reading

"Rabbi Hiyya taught that this Parashah was said in the assembly [of the entire nation] because most of the Torah’s essentials are dependent upon it.", 4/24/2014, 9:00 AM

The Power of the 7th Day of Pesach

How we merited the awesome, revealed miracle of the Splitting of the Red Sea., 4/20/2014, 10:23 AM

Shabbat Hagadol - The Great Sabbath

A connection between the haftarah read on this Sabbath, the Great Sabbath, and the Torah reading of Achrei Mot., 4/11/2014, 9:20 AM

Metzora: Leprosy and Israel

, 4/3/2014, 7:12 AM

Not Just at Harvard: An Historical Precedent

Oxford University and Israel's government did no better., 3/25/2014, 8:44 AM

The Post-Purim Story

Time for the post-Purim story., 3/19/2014, 8:05 AM

Twenty Years Since Baruch Goldstein

History and analysis of the events surrounding the massacre., 3/18/2014, 7:24 AM

Shabbat Zachor

In leap years (as this year), Parashat Tzav is either Shabbat Zachor (the Shabbat immediately before Purim, as this year), or else the Shabbat immediately after Purim. Parashat Tzav is connected either to Purim or to Pesach., 3/14/2014, 2:14 PM

Elders of Israel

Three landmark events in the first redemption, the redemption from Egypt, when G-d called to Moses and then spoke to him, which were the three times when He gave honour to the Elders of Israel, 3/6/2014, 9:20 AM

Shabbat Parshat Shekalim

The Torah reading this week is Pikudei, but at the end of the reading a different chapter is read, the one on giving donations - shekalim - to the holy Temple. The Sabbath is therefore called Shabbat Shekalim., 2/28/2014, 12:38 AM

We Inherit the Land Through Justice

The weekly portion contains ordinary work-a-day laws, mundane rules which do not appear to be particularly inspiring. But they are the basis of justice., 1/23/2014, 7:15 AM

On Ariel Sharon - The "Bulldozer"

Ariel Sharon was once the right's hero and anathema to the left and the Arab world., 1/11/2014, 7:54 PM

A Time of War

There is a time for total war., 1/8/2014, 12:00 PM

A Preview of Mashiach

, 12/12/2013, 10:41 AM

How [Not] to Bring the Redemption

The story of the Hasmonean dynasty shows what happens when Israel's trust is put in the wrong place., 11/30/2013, 11:40 PM

Vayishlach: Esau's Love

Is it real love or something else?, 11/14/2013, 9:26 AM

From Sodom to Heaven - Via Bet El

The Medrash connects three events by stating a grammatical rule., 11/7/2013, 9:45 AM

Toldot: Well, Well, Well

Why tell the story of the wells?, 10/31/2013, 7:42 AM

What's In a Name?

The significance of the name changes in the book of Genesis., 10/25/2013, 3:52 PM