Rabbi Dr. Raymond Apple

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

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

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

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

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

"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

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

10 Cobblers Make a Minyan

The week's Torah reading deals with the census of the Children of Israel in the wilderness., 5/23/2014, 5:42 PM

Vegetarian and Kosher

Questions and answers on current topics., 5/19/2014, 5:30 AM

Go Tell It On the Mountain - Parshat Behar

This week's Torah reading (Parsha) is called Behar, literally "on the mountain.", 5/8/2014, 8:31 AM

Practical Zionism in the Jewish State

Coming into the land means facts on the ground., 5/5/2014, 5:11 PM

Kedoshim: Hopefulness and Holiness

Topics in this week's Torah reading, Parshat Kedoshim., 4/24/2014, 8:47 AM

Omer Weddings

During part of the period of counting the Omer weddings are not performed., 4/22/2014, 12:17 AM

Parshat Achrei Mot: All on Your Own

This week's Torah reading is about the Holy of Holies - and contains a connection to the Haggadah., 4/10/2014, 7:40 AM

Ritual on Passover

Judaism is normative, not just theoretical. The Seder is the perfect example., 4/9/2014, 6:11 AM

Kabbalah and Other Torah Q & A

Q and A on various issues, the first of them Kabbalah., 1/22/2014, 9:52 AM

What Shall We Do on Friday

This Friday is the Fast of Teveth, but Friday comes every week.., 12/12/2013, 11:29 AM

6 Questions at the Gates of Heaven

, 11/13/2013, 12:25 PM

The Stairway to Heaven

On his way to Haran, he dreams of angels. On the way back, he gets G-d's blessing., 11/7/2013, 6:03 PM

Religious or Secular Law?

Which has priority?, 10/30/2013, 9:55 AM

When Bad Things Happen to Good People

A question that has troubled everyone at some point, 10/17/2013, 9:34 AM

About Simchat Torah

Attached to the Sukkot holiday are the holidays of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah. In Israel they are celebrated on the same day, in the Diaspora as two days. This is when we read the end of the Torah and begin reading it once again., 9/24/2013, 11:39 PM

Sukkot Thoughts: I Don't Understand Our People

Thoughts on the demands of the Sukkot Festival, the Four Species used on the holiday and the processions that take place during the holiday., 9/15/2013, 9:58 PM

What G-d Wants to Do on Yom Kippur

Let's imagine G-d is talking to us on Yom Kippur., 9/10/2013, 6:30 PM