<I>Beshalach</I>: Believing is SeeingWhat is the <I>groyse metzia</I> of believing in <I>HaShem</I> after such a potent show of strength? Who wouldn't believe in Him at that point? And what about our free will - how can we freely choose to believe in G-d after such a compelling event?
Roads That Lead Nowhere"Why celebrate?" Rabbi Teichtal asked one of the participants. "What will be the end of this <I>shul</I>?"
<I>Vayechi</I>: Feeling Your OathsI swear, this isn't so simple. Before Yakov dies, he makes Yosef swear that he will not bury him in Egypt, but will return him to <I>Eretz Yisrael</I>. Now, this is <I>after</I> Yosef has already agreed to his father's request. But apparently, that's not good enough; Yosef must take an official oath.
<I>Vayeshev</I>: As the Dreidel SpinsYosef was a dreamer. The "little brother" who dreamt that one day he would be a prince indeed became one. Yosef learned that dreams can really come true - with hard work and <I>HaShem</I>'s blessing.
<I>Ki-Tetzei</I>: In Elul, What You Give, You GainEach weekday morning during Elul, the <I>shofar</I> sounds. It calls to us <I>l'hishtaper</I>, to improve ourselves, particularly in our relationships with others. Where should we start? With our families, of course. That is the best "testing ground" for the Elul Syndrome, a.k.a. <I>Ani L'dodi V'dodi Li</I>.
Tisha B'Av: Lebanon and the Letter of the LawWhy was the <I>Beit HaMikdash</I> (Temple) destroyed? That is the question we should all be asking ourselves as we observe Tisha B'Av - the "Black Fast" - this Wednesday night-Thursday.
<i>Matot-Masei</I>: We Need Jews"I can no longer watch from afar as our brothers in Israel daily risk their lives for our future, and not be a part of them, and so, I am fulfilling what must be the destiny of every Jew. I hope you will join me."
<I>Pinchas</I>: Terror - Then and NowThe vindication of Pinchas reminds us that in the real world - especially for a Jew - we have to often fight for serenity and scream for silence, as strange as that sounds.
<I>Korach</I>: Vote for Me, I'll Set You FreeKorach's high-minded appeal to <I>Bnei Yisrael</I> to rebel against Moshe and elect Korach as leader is packaged in moralistic phraseology - democracy, the "rights of the people," "share the wealth," etc.
<I>Beha'alot'cha</I>: Passion Has Its PlaceWe turned up our noses at the <I>mahn</I> (manna) and we said, "We remember the fish we freely ate in Egypt...." What are we, seafood lovers all of a sudden? And is Egypt famous for its fish?
<I>Bamidbar</I>: Making the Desert BloomDo you want to discover the essence of any Jewish idea? Then examine its name, its <I>shem</I>. That is where you will discover its soul, its <I>neshama</I> (note that in the center of the word <I>neshama</I> is <I>shem</I>).
Of Sirens, Treasure and TraumaThe thinking Jew is continually confronted by the obvious question: Why must joy be preceded by suffering? Why must we first be traumatized by war and pain, and only <I>then</I> be delivered into victory and triumph?
Torah and Taste BudsSo, you want to be a <I>chacham</I>? Then let's examine the <I>Haggadah</I>'s treatment of the Wise Child.
Vote No to SlanderMissing from this cavalcade of <I>lashon hara</I> is the clear statement of what each party stands for and what it will do to secure our future.
Myths, the Megillah and MoshiachAchashverosh is even willing to accommodate the special needs of the Jews, their meals and <I>minhagim</I>, because that represents no threat to him. But there is one thing that Achashverosh, like so many other of our "hosts", cannot abide.
<I>Tetzaveh</I>: For Whom the Bells TollThe commentator <I>Akeida</I> says that each garment was meant to convey a lofty moral message. Let's talk about one of those garments, the robe, or <I>me'il</I>.