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Rabbi Dr. Raymond Apple

Insights into Judaism

Various topics and their relation to Judaism., 8/30/2016, 1:00 AM

Insights on Judaism: The Apocrypha, Lions, Printers and the Parsha

Answers to questions about Judaic practice and custom., 8/23/2016, 11:53 AM

The day before the 9th of Av

Insights into the fast and the parsha., 8/10/2016, 10:16 PM

The meaning of life

Insights into the meaning of life and other questions., 7/25/2016, 7:25 AM

Reading the Torah in translation

Why don't Ashkenazim read a translation with the Torah reading?, 7/11/2016, 6:41 AM

Shlach (Diaspora): Parsha Insights

Facts and ideas about topics in the parsha., 7/1/2016, 12:26 PM

Bechukotai (Diaspora): Insights from the parsha

For more articles on the parsha read in the Diaspora, click show more at the top of the Judaism section., 6/2/2016, 10:02 PM

The origins of Hatikva

What is the story of Israel's national anthem?, 5/11/2016, 7:31 PM

Why didn't G-d send a miracle to save us in the Holocaust?

Insights into the Holocaust., 5/5/2016, 8:00 AM

Insights for the end of the Pesach holiday

Make sure to read to the end for the part about the Red Sea., 4/28/2016, 8:33 AM

Juridic, typological and optional slavery

All three types of slavery raise questions and so does the closing song of the seder. And the most profound question of all ends this article., 4/24/2016, 10:55 PM

Pesach thoughts: A prelude to the holiday

Chametz and control, three matzot, a tug of war, a search and the wicked son., 4/11/2016, 8:09 AM

Insights on Purim - Ask the Rabbi

Understanding Esther, the revenge motif and the connection to Yom Kippur., 3/23/2016, 4:31 PM

Torah Insights for Pekudei

Ideas for the Shabbat table and for one's own enrichment., 3/10/2016, 6:28 AM

Parsha insights: Commitment, creation and clouds

Short insights into events in the Torah reading for this week., 3/2/2016, 11:19 PM

Insights for Ki Tisa: Ransom, art and donations for the cause

Thoughts on the varied themes in the Torah reading for this week., 2/25/2016, 8:53 AM

Purim Katan: Why two Adars? And why is Purim in the second?

In this Insights into Judaism column, the rabbi adds two more topics: an understanding of hassidism and the 23rd Psalm., 2/23/2016, 7:59 AM

Tetzave: Bells on the priestly robes, politics in the shul

Insights on the parsha: The High Priest's garments, leadership garb, the absence of Moses, the synagogue and politics., 2/18/2016, 10:04 AM

The big ten

Are there only ten commandments?, 1/29/2016, 3:13 PM

Insights into the Torah reading: The burning bush

Thoughts on the burning bush, the midwives and Moses' stammer., 1/2/2016, 9:39 PM

Ask the Rabbi: Who wrote Maoz Tsur?

Facts about the holiday story., 12/6/2015, 4:40 PM

Insights on Toldot

Family dynamics in the family of Isaac and Rebekah., 11/11/2015, 9:09 PM

Parsha Insights: Sarah and the women; Cemeteries

Two topics that can be learned from the parsha., 11/7/2015, 7:17 PM

Parsha insights for Vayera

Understanding the different tests with which G-d tried Abraham's faith., 10/29/2015, 5:44 AM

Insights on Parashat Bereshit

A discussion of several issues in the first chapters of the Torah., 10/8/2015, 11:24 AM

Praying for Rain in Israel, Yizkor and Unity

Themes and thoughts for the last part of the holiday season., 10/4/2015, 6:22 AM

The Gaon's Etrog

The World to Come, Second Sukkot and Kohelet., 9/27/2015, 7:05 AM

Haazinu: Keeping the Bargain

All the conditions are spelled out in poetic rhetoric., 9/25/2015, 8:50 AM

The Other Side to Rosh Hashanah

Stories and questions about the holiday., 8/31/2015, 2:19 PM

Conversions in Israel

A complex question addressed in clear terms., 8/11/2015, 3:02 PM

Why is it called Deuteronomy?

Insights into this week's Torah reading., 7/23/2015, 5:27 PM

Power in Paradox: The Red Heifer

How can one and the same thing achieve two diametrically opposed things? Three thoughts on the Parsha., 6/26/2015, 9:08 AM

Q&A: Should Rabbis Keep Out of Politics?

Speaking out on the quality of society is teaching the Bible., 6/22/2015, 9:42 AM

Insights into Shavuot and Bamidbar

Tradition and revelation., 5/21/2015, 4:53 AM

The Prioress' Tale

Some things never die., 4/8/2015, 9:32 PM

They Were All There at the Seder

There are unseen guests at the Seder and Elijah is only one of them., 4/5/2015, 1:49 AM

Haman and Mordecai - Reverse Images

Haman and Mordechai are similar, but in what really matters they are world apart. , 3/1/2015, 9:06 AM

Executing Terrorists

Should terrorists who have "blood on their hands" get the death penalty according to halakha?, 2/12/2015, 7:24 AM

Mazel Tov to the Trees!

Tu BiShvat is the New Year for trees from a halakhic point of view. The day has no mitzvot of its own, but there are thoughts and mitzvot connected to tree and fruits., 2/3/2015, 11:24 AM

Things are not so Simple for Pharaoh and the Jews

Wise insights on events in the coming Shabbat's Torah reading and on our limitations in dating events of ancient times., 1/20/2015, 5:00 PM

Not Because of the Christians

Hanukkah often coincides with Christmas. So?, 12/19/2014, 6:28 AM

When Rashi is Puzzled

Rashi's admission is a challenge for future generation., 11/20/2014, 8:35 AM

A Poetic Dimension to Machpelah

The Patriarchs come to life and so do their wives., 11/12/2014, 9:35 PM

Folding a Wing and Flying

How far can man go?, 10/23/2014, 10:22 AM

Evolution, Adam and Light

How does evolution square with Torah? Man's purpose? , 10/17/2014, 2:40 PM

Who is Rejoicing on Simchat Torah?

An interesting lacuna in the translation., 10/14/2014, 10:22 PM

Sukkot Messages

Building a sukkah that waves in the wind tells us not to measure achievement in material but spiritual terms. Taking four plants that look and smell radically different from each other tells us that it takes all sorts to create a society., 10/7/2014, 6:50 AM

Torah and Haftorah Readings on the New Year

The voice of the Lord is in the winds and rushing water, in prayers of childless women, in the conscience, love and laughter of human beings, in the work of man in science, literature, art, music and poetry. It is all here., 9/23/2014, 8:48 AM

Ki Tetsei: The Hebrew Word for Divorce

One of the topics in this week's reading is divorce. Another is Amalek., 9/5/2014, 11:35 AM

The 9th of Av: Remembering

See links to information about the fast and the services said on it at the end of the article., 8/4/2014, 11:01 AM

Insights into the Parsha: Massei

It's hard to be G-d., 7/24/2014, 3:52 PM

The Age of the World

An age-old problem., 6/16/2014, 2:54 PM

"Open Orthodoxy": Definitely Open, but is it Orthodox?

Not to be confused with Modern Orthodoxy, as readers can see below., 6/5/2014, 3:14 PM

Shavuot: The Cinderella of the Festivals

Insights on Shavuot, the holiday with no special laws., 6/2/2014, 6:15 AM

Insights on the Parsha: Naso

Long hair, priestly blessing, the Levites are some of the topics in this week's reading., 5/29/2014, 7:00 AM

The Dying Patient

Israel's Knesset is debating allowing a form of euthenasia for terminal patients. What does halakha say? , 5/26/2014, 12:09 PM