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Parasha Insights

Parasha Insights

A TALE OF THREE SOULS

A young boy asked his mom about their ancestry. She told him of her illustrious background, back to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

“Where did they come from?” "Adam and Eve." "And they?" “G-d created them.” The boy wrote it down and then went to his dad.

“Where do we come from?” he asked. “Ah, we come from the apes. After millions of years of evolution we evolved into humans.”

“And the apes?” “Ah, they evolved from other primates.” “Where did it all begin?” “It all began with bacteria.”

The confused boy went running back to his mom. “Mom, you said we come from Adam, Eve and G-d.

Dad said we come from the… Read More »

DO YOU EAT TO LIVE, OR DO YOU LIVE TO EAT?

A tour bus with a load of seniors was driving down a highway. One little old lady tapped the driver and offered him a handful of peanuts, which he gratefully munched. After 15 minutes, she tapped him again and handed him another handful of peanuts. She repeated this several more times. When she was about to hand him more, he asked her, "Why don't you eat the peanuts yourselves?"

"We can't chew them because we've no teeth," she replied. The puzzled driver asked, "Then why buy them?"

The old lady said, "We love the chocolate on the outside."

Millions of people around the world are caught in a painful struggle with food, whether it’s chronic overeating, incessant cravings, food addiction, or… Read More »

IS IT TOO MUCH FOR YOU?

A young lawyer, starting up his private practice, was very anxious to impress potential clients.

When he saw the first visitor to his office come through the door, he immediately picked up his phone and spoke into it, making belief he was actually talking to someone. "I'm sorry, but my caseload is so tremendous that I'm not going to be able to look into your problem for at least a month.

I'll have to get back to you then." He then turned to the man who had just walked in, and said, "Now, what can I do for you? 

Make sure to do this fast, as I am in a mad rush, as you can see from the endless telephone calls of clients."

"Nothing," replied the man. "I'm here to hook up your phone.”

In the… Read More »

WHERE IS THE ROMAN EMPIRE TODAY?

 

A large corporation hired a new CEO. Before leaving, the former CEO met the new hire privately in his office and gave him three numbered envelopes.

“Open these if you have a problem you don’t think you can solve,” he said.

Things were pretty smooth the first six months, but then sales took a downturn and the new CEO began to catch a lot of heat. He took the first envelope from his drawer. The message read, “Blame your predecessor.”

The new CEO called a press conference and tactfully laid the blame at the feet of the previous CEO. Sales began to pick up and the problem was soon behind him.

About a year later, the company was again experiencing a slight dip in sales, combined with serious product… Read More »

CHALLENGES OR OPPORTUNITIES?

The coach had put together the perfect team for the Chicago Bears. The only thing that was missing was a good quarterback. He had scouted all the colleges and even the Canadian and European Leagues, but he couldn't find the guy who could ensure a Super Bowl win.

Then one night while watching CNN he saw a war-zone scene in the West Bank. In one corner of the background, he spotted a young Israeli soldier with a truly incredible arm. He threw a hand-grenade straight into a 15th story window 100 yards away. KABOOM! He threw another hand-grenade 75 yards away, right into a a chimney. KA-BLOOEY! Then he threw another at a passing car going 90 mph. BULLS-EYE!

"I've got to get this guy!" Coach said to himself. "He has the perfect… Read More »

DO YOU FULLY TRUST YOUR SPOUSE?

Rabbi Adler was called away unexpectedly due to an illness of a close family member. He entrusted his new assistant Rabbi with filling the pulpit. When Rabbi Adler returned, he asked his wife what she thought of the young Rabbi’s sermon.

"Oy, it was one of the worst I've ever heard," she said. "There was nothing in it, nothing at all. It didn't even make sense. It was disorganized, and the message absolutely meaningless. His presentation was actually not bad—he is a good speaker, has a nice voice; but his message? Oy my G-d, the worst ever. The entire congregation was disappointed."

Later that day, Rabbi Adler met his young assistant Rabbi and asked him, "How did the Shabbat service and the sermon… Read More »

TO BE OR NOT TO BE

Mr. Dewey was briefing his client, who was about to testify in his own defense.

"You must swear to tell the complete truth. Do you understand?"

The client replied that he did.

Then lawyer then asked, "Do you know what will happen if you don't tell the truth?"

The client looked back and said, "I imagine that our side will win."

Next Tuesday is the 17th of the Hebrew month of Tammuz. This is when the walls of Jerusalem were breached, enabling the enemy's conquest of the city, which led to the destruction of the Holy Temple three weeks later on the 9th of Av. Ever since, 17 Tammuz 17 and 9 Av are both fast days, and the three week period between them is a… Read More »

HOW TO SPEAK SO YOUR CHILDREN WILL LISTEN?

During wartime, a Jew would come to the country’s border with a wheelbarrow full of dirt. The border guard looked at the man’s papers and all was in order for him to cross. The guard suspecting that  the man was smuggling some sort of contraband in the wheelbarrow., took a shovel, poked around in the dirt, but found nothing. The man was allowed to cross.

The next week, the Jew once again came to the border with a wheelbarrow full of dirt. Again, the border guard found that the papers were in order and dug through the dirt, but still found nothing. And again, the man was allowed to cross.  Week after week, it was the same story: Man approaches the border with wheelbarrow full of dirt. Guard finds nothing of interest… Read More »

I WAS CHALLENGED TO BECOME A LEADER

On March 15, 1958, Jack Kennedy was a politician in his 40's. The opening line of one of his speeches made him a legend. Previously, his father John had been lampooned in the press as trying to use his family's money and influence to buy the election. Reaching into his pocket, Jack pulled out a telegram he said was from his dad. It said, "Dear Jack, Don't buy a single vote more than is necessary—I'll be damned if I'm going to pay for a landslide."

This week's Torah portion, Korach, tells of a serious challenge to Moses’ leadership. Moses's first cousin, Korach, led 250 community leaders in a revolt: They came as a group to oppose Moses and Aaron and said to them, "You have gone too far! The whole community… Read More »

WE CAN DO IT WE ARE STRONG!

The local Jewish Federation charity had never received a donation from the city’s banker, a very wealthy Jew, so the director made a phone call. “Our records show you make $800,000 a year, yet you haven’t given a penny to charity,” the director began. “Wouldn’t you like to help the Jewish community?”

The banker replied, “Did your research show that my mother is ill, with extremely expensive medical bills?”  “Um, no,” mumbled the director.  “Or that my brother is blind and unemployed? Or that my sister’s husband died, leaving her broke with seven kids?”  “I … I … I had no… Read More »

I KNOW THE SHEPHERD

There was once a jungle in which one lion thought himself a king. Everyday he got up, went over to the chipmunk, pinned him to the ground and asked, "Who's the toughest animal in the jungle?"

To which the chipmunk, in a meek little voice, always replied, "You are!"

Then the lion would find the bird. He would grab the bird, pin him to the ground and ask, "Who's the toughest animal in the jungle?"

"You are," the poor frightened bird would reply.

This went on each day, all morning. The lion would go to every other animal, pin them to the ground and ask his question. Finally, one day, he came up to the elephant. Grabbing him by the leg, the lion squeezed it and asked, "Who's the toughest beast… Read More »

The Capitol Dome in Washington, DC?

An old man was interviewed by a newspaper reporter on his 100th birthday. He was asked: “To what do you attribute your longevity?”

The man thought for a moment and began ticking off items on his fingers: “I never smoke, I never drink liquor, I never overeat, and I always go to bed early and get up early.”

“You know,” said the reporter, “I had an uncle who did all those things, but he only lived to be 90. How do you explain that?”

“Simple,” said the old man. “He just didn't keep it up long enough.”

One of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring sights in Washington DC is the United States Capitol building.

150 years ago, though, most of the nation opposed… Read More »

A SHOCKING STORY?

An anxious man filed a "missing persons" report about his wife. She had gone shopping earlier that day, and hadn't yet come back.

Officer: What is her height? Husband: I never checked.

Officer: Slim or robust? Husband: Not slim.

Officer: Petite or large? Husband: Not petite.

Officer: Color of eyes? Husband: Never noticed.

Officer: Color of hair? Husband: Well, that changes according to season.

Officer: What was she wearing? Husband: Not sure, a dress or a suit.

Officer: What color? Husband: How would I remember?

Officer: Was she driving? Husband: Yes.

Officer: Color of the car? Husband: It was a black Audi A8 with supercharged 3.0 litre V6 engine generating 333 horsepower, teamed with an eight-speed tiptronic automatic… Read More »

WHY DOES A WEEK HAVE 7 DAYS NOT 6 OR 8?

There are two kinds of people: Those who can count, and those who can’t.

There is something strange about the way we count Sefirah—the 49 days between Passover and Shavuot.

What is this counting all about? What is the point of counting days and weeks that will pass, regardless of our counting? The truth is, we are counting from the day we were set free from decades of slavery, on Passover, to the day we received the Torah at Sinai and made our covenant with G-d to accept His Torah as our eternal mandate and blueprint; from the day we became a people to the day we received our Jewish identity. We include both days andweeks in our Sefirah count to highlight the two ways of defining our Jewish identity.

The 24-hour day… Read More »

WHO ARE THE BEST OF MAN?

No dictionary has ever been able to satisfactorily define the difference between "complete" and "finished." However, during a recent linguistic conference, held in London, England, and attended by some of the best linguists in the world, Samsundar Balgobin, a Guyanese linguist, was the presenter when he was asked to make that very distinction.

The question put to him by a colleague in the erudite audience was this: “Some say there is no difference between ‘complete’ and ‘finished.’ 

Please explain the difference in a way that is easy to understand.”

Mr. Balgobin’s response: “When you marry the right woman, you are ‘complete.’  If you… Read More »

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