Altruism over Personal GainThe struggle to include others – family, community, fellow Jews and human beings generally – into our worldview is the story of our lives and existence. Our leaders are no different.
The High Priest's TaskAharon’s general role in Jewish society served to remind all of the real purpose of the Temple.
Jerusalem Day MemoriesSince 1967 Israel gave away Sinai, Gaza, much of the 'West Bank', the Temple Mount, recognized the establishment of a state, fought many wars and endured continuing terrorist attacks, signed a number of meaningless agreements, all fruitless.
Jewish DestinyJewish history is not to be seen as a random occurrence of events.
Credit CardsIn Avot we are informed that this world is likened to a magnificent store, full of all sorts of goods that one can purchase and enjoy. But payment is regularly exacted.
Moses' Absence Moses' absence, which after all was occasioned by a command from God, was not really the main problem that troubled the Jewish people.
TaxesParshat Truma is a good time to discuss the idea of taxes.
The Message of the Book of GenesisThis perseverance of family building, in spite of all of the disappointments inherent in that task, is the reason for the book of Bereshit.
Defining One's Self - Crucial to Conflict ResolutionProspects forresolution of the Israeli-Arab dispute in the near future remain unlikely. It is not only that we don’t have a partner. It is that our proposed partner does not know what his goals are except for the destruction of the State of Israel
The American BabyloniaThe parallels between Jewish Babylonia and Jewish America are troubling and should be pondered.
Underrating TemptationFor the past several weeks, we have been reading about temptation and human reactions to it.
Was Eliezer Wrong?Was it a precursor of the fact that the signs and omens seem to win out?
Divine Partnership for the New YearThe ability to get past previous troubles and failures and move on in life is one of the essential ingredients of a Jewish life that is directed towards holiness and eternity.
Dvarim: Shabbat Outweighs the 9th of AvThe review that Moshe provides for us of the forty-year stay in the desert by the Jewish people, contains within it the harbingers of all later disasters, but not despair.
Are We Repeating the 1930's?Here is one major difference: for the first time in nineteen centuries the major powers in the world are concerned about what the Jews are going to do to defend themselves.
The 'Frier' ComplexThe Chareidi community is guilty of making the general Israeli society feel like a frier and in being very smug about so doing.
Generational RecognitionIt is only when we grow older – usually much older – that we begin to appreciate family relationships and generational bonds.
Sticking it Out as a FamilyJewish tradition teaches us that all later disputes within the Jewish world are already foretold in the story of Yosef and his brothers - yet we remain, as the brothers remained, a family. Leaders, take note.
Miketz: A Defining Moment in TimeWe are experts in hindsight. We rarely achieve meaningful foresight in any field of human endeavor and national and personal living. Only the diehards stubbornly insist that the path of the Oslo Agreements has not yet come to an end.
The ZeitgeistWhat was the major force in the secularization of Jewish society in the 19th century - and is it still present?
Biblical LessonsRespect for the elderly is a basic tenet of Judaism. The Torah commands us to rise in honor of the aged and to give allegiance and respect to elders.
It's Not Going to Go AwayThe Moslem world and its faith as is currently revealed and practiced in universal society is religion run amuck, as much a danger to itself as to others.
For Redemption, Cut Away The Greek ConnectionHedonism, uninhibited sexual activity, pornography, child abuse, glorification of the body, intolerance of “others,” public glorification of homosexuality are all Greek in origin. We have to fight them to bring Redemption.
A Sinister Pattern of EvilThese Torah portions have a common lesson about evil speech which wreaks terrible havoc amongst its perpetrators. continually punishing everyone involved in it - victim, perpetrator and society at large.
The "Cottage Cheese Spring"This cottage cheese frenzy is enough to make anyone’s milk curdle.But the rabbi found it to be a breath of relief when cottage cheese was the main topic on Israeli radio this week.
Shlach: A Message About RightsThe basic right of the Jewish people to live in the Land of Israel under Jewish sovereignty is not given to discussion and argument.
Shavuot: Depth and MeaningShavuot is the quintessential holiday of the Jewish people in and with the Land of Israel and its Torah.
The Zionists Empty Promises Secular Jews needed the promise that Israel would end anti-Semitism in order to embrace Zionism. Religious Jews have no such need.
Torah Eye on News: UncertaintyCertainty versus Uncertainty:
There is no people in the world that has existed as long and as dangerously in the milieu of uncertainty as has the people of Israel.
Acts And AccountabilityMan cannot accomplish anything alone. But God demands that we apply our efforts and dedication to the task. And we are held accountable for those efforts and costs.
<i>Ki Tavo</I>: Realism is the Torah WayPeople are justifiably proud of their accomplishments. After all, one's efforts and talents, time and struggle, are of no minor consequence in one's life. Many times, we feel that this is perhaps all we have to show for our years on earth. Therefore, there is a human tendency to view one's achievements in a somewhat exaggerated fashion, without being able to place the true accomplishment in realis
<i>Ki Tetze</I>: The Enemy WithinWinston Churchill, in a speech to the House of Commons, once quoted the altered, semi-facetious aphorism, "We have met the enemy and they are us," in describing the policy shortcomings of the then-ruling government in England. In this week's Torah reading we find this idea described in detail.
<i>Shoftim</I>: CompetitionThis week's Torah reading introduces the prohibition against the concept of <i>hasagat gvul</i> - unfair and immoral competition. The Hebrew words <i>hasagat gvul</i> literally mean overstepping or illegally encroaching on one's neighbor's border. Just as it is obviously wrong to move one's border fence to gobble up a piece of ground of the neighboring lot, so too is it wrong to engage in unfair c
<i>Re?eh</I>: False ProphetsWe should be steadfast in avoiding being swayed by their currently, but only temporarily, politically correct, siren song. Anything that does not conform to God's natural law of nature and humans, as clearly expressed in the Torah, is a dangerous delusion and a false and destructive type of prophecy.
The Basic TenetThe basic tenet of all of Jewish life, history, culture and civilization appears is: "Hear O Israel the Lord is our God, the Lord is uniquely one." Jews have lived by this credo, died with these words on their lips and in their souls and sustained themselves through all times of adversity by the knowledge and faith of God's existence and relationship to Israel, represented by the simple words of t
<i>D?varim</I>: A Good EyeOne of the most essential traits for leadership of any kind and most certainly for leadership in Jewish life is cultivating a "good eye." Our rabbis, in <i>Pirkei Avot</i>, emphasize that having a "good eye" is a major goal and accomplishment in life. A "good eye" allows one to be optimistic and hopeful, even though the realities of life are often discouraging and negative.