Looking for ourselves in DevarimThis is the book of perspective, of the long view of events.
To know where to go,look at where you started fromLook for wrong turns and poor choices that Jewish history makes plain.
I don't knowThe title is probably a sentence we all should be saying and hearing more often than we do.
Matot (Israel): Conformity or unity?Why have 12 tribes instead of one undivided nation?
Counting the JewsWe find it so much easier to memorialize the dead than to inspire and consecrate the living.
Rabbinic responsiblityHow far does rabbinic responsibility go?
The book of bad behavior: BamidbarMoses' fate is decided in this reading.
Korach (Israel): Moses cannot be judged by ordinary standardsWe find it difficult to deal with people who are our peers and whom we feel we can understand and even judge.
Irrational, but there it isWhat was the driving force that made the Jewish people resist their entry into the Holy Land?
Cause and effectWhat is striking to me about the current Conservative mantra is that apparently nowhere does God appear to be in the picture...
Behaalotcha (Israel): What brought on the rebelliions?Wise men should be careful with their words and actions.
Amalek, then and nowAmalek cannot be wished away, it is resurrected in every generation.
Haazinu - Listen!Can you still hear the echo of the shofar at Mount Sinai?
Selichot the Traditional WayThe traditional selichot prayers, whether Ashkenazi or Sephardi, have secured a place of permanence. The new Israeli version lacks heart and loses the sense of continuing the heritage of generations.
Jewish History is Predicted in This Week's Torah ReadingIf there is one portion of the Torah that truly rattles our cage, this week’s Torah reading is certainly that portion.
Shoftim: Judicial ParametersIt is possible, if not even likely, to create evil, bias and unfairness by legal means.
Fact and Opinion: One and the Same for Israel-HatersThe entire worldwide campaign against Israel and its legitimate right to exist is built upon falsification of facts.
Parshat Korach: G-d Threw His Support Behind MosesKorach tried, but G-d is not a populist.
Depths of Fear and HesitationMoses apparently miscalculated the level of fear of the Jews in the desert.
Beha'alotcha: Searching for PerfectionThe search for perfection in human life is equivalent to drinking saltwater in an attempt to slake one's thirst.
He's Got Our BackNo one has ever really Israel's back - so why should we believe Obama?
Bechukotai: Eternal ResilienceThe true message that shines forth from this week’s Torah reading is that of the eternal resilience and strength of the Jewish people.
Polls and PunditsPolls can be accurate, so why weren't they in the two recent significant elections?
Behar: Imagining IsraelAnother lesson in the mentioning of Mount Sinai.
Emor: The Jewish Attitude Towards DeathTorah from the rabbi of the Nasi Synagogue in Jerusalem.
Counting the OmerSfira reflects much of what our ordinary lives experience – a mixture of emotion and occurrences.
Impudence and ImpotenceScience could learn a great deal from religion in terms of humility. Religion itself can also benefit greatly from its own lesson of humility.
Vayakhel-Pikudei: AccountabilityMoses held himself accountable for every shekel spent on the Tabernacle construction.
What Could Have BeenNot everything in the past was perfect.
A Golden Calf? Really?No one can really explain satisfactorily how the Jews decided to make a golden calf after the miracles they witnesses.
God Demands Our Heart - Even in a Buiilding CampaignThe Torah teaches us that a building or any institution whose purpose is service of God and the spiritual enhancement of human beings cannot be built of human material generosity alone.
How Could the Torah Allow Slavery?Many of the great Torah commentators, especially of the last few centuries, have attempted to deal with this issue.
ExpectationsAdvice on dealing with leaders' fall from grace.
Jethro Joins the Israelites: When and WhyTwo opinions on why and when Yitor joined the Jewish encampment in the desert.
The Song of the SeaThe most uplifting message of the song is its timelessness and relevance. The most depressing part of the song is also its timelessness and relevance.
The Exodus and Jewish ExclusivityThe question of Jewish exclusivity lies at the heart of a great deal of the internal and external debates regarding Israel and the Jewish people.
Pharaoh vs. MosesComplete dominion over others that is based upon a colossal lie of superhuman status eventually is doomed to collapse. It may take centuries for this to occur but history has shown us that it always does occur.
There is No King Without a PeopleHow did the ordinary Egyptians feel about the Jews?
The Ups and Downs of Israeli Political LifeThere is a pattern that has emerged from all of the previous nineteen elections that have bedeviled us over the past sixty-six years.
Jacob's LegacyTorah from the rabbi of Hanassi Synagogue in Jerusalem.
Willful Blindness Then and NowJoseph's brothers are not so different in their reaction to his dreams from those who refuse to be confused by the facts.
Europe is GoneTo Europe, the noble Palestinians – fomenters of worldwide terrorism, intifadas and recurring wars – are worthy of diplomatic recognition, media support, financial aid and moral justification. This is Europe's revenge on the Jews for surviving.
Miketz: Born to GreatnessAchieving greatness requires more than being born with the capability for it.
Loose ChangeDesire for change can even eventually justify wickedness, slander, violence and lawlessness in the attempt to facilitate that hoped-for change.
The Unfolding Drama in the Second Half of GenesisThis week we begin reading the second half of the book of Genesis. And a drama unfolds.
The Jewish People Must Remain True to ItselfThat is what is meant by "the truth of Yaakov".
Jews at Prayer - Some ReflectionsThe shameful reactions in Gaza and Europe, in the media and the UN afford us little hope that this is the last atrocity.
Abraham was a Model for George DeekTragedy struck Abraham, as it struck the Arabs who believed their leaders in 1948, and fled Israel. What came next is what counts.
Hearing the Message from HeavenWe hear God, so to speak, through familiar voices that reverberate within our soul and heart.
The Amended Conversion Law: Problems and PitfallsUnderstanding what is wrong with even the now-amended law, just passed in the Knesset.
On Lech Lecha: RelocatingThe inner drive of connection to our homeland – to our past and future at one and the same time – is the driving force of the recent increased immigration of Jews to the State of Israel.
Don't American Jews Realize They Are All Klinghoffer?They just don't get it.
Noah and Abraham, the SurvivorsTwo survivors, two different methods of overcoming traumatic events.
A Stiff-Necked PeopleFor good and for bad.
Re'eh: Jews in the Eyes of HistoryNot knowing the past always blinds the present and dims the future.
Eikev: Don't Tread on Me!There really are no small things or inconsequential acts.
This One Feels DifferentThis Gaza War is full of twists and turns.