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Parasha Insights

Parasha Insights


A very successful businessman had a meeting with his new son-in-law. "I love my daughter, and now I welcome you into the family," said the man. "To show you how much I care for you, I'm making you a 50-50 partner in my business. All you have to do is go to the factory every day and learn the operations."

The son-in-law interrupted, "I hate factories. I can't stand the noise."

"I see," replied the man. "Well, then you'll work in the office and take charge of some operations."

"I hate office work," said the son-in-law. "I can't stand being stuck behind a desk all day."

"Wait a minute," said the father-in-law. "I just made you half-owner of a moneymaking… Read More »


On the sixth day of Creation, G-d turned to the angel Gabriel and said, "Today I am going to create a land of outstanding natural beauty called Israel. It will have rolling hills, and mountains full of goats and eagles, a beautiful, sparkling, clear ocean full of sea life, and high cliffs overlooking sandy white beaches. I shall make the land rich in oil to allow the inhabitants to prosper. I shall call the inhabitants "Jews," and they shall be known as the friendliest people on the earth."

"But," asked Gabriel, "Don't you think you're being too generous to these Jews?" "Not really," replied G-d. "Wait and see the neighbors I will give them."

There is a fascinating, enigmatic… Read More »


It was Yom Kippur eve, and the Jews in the city of Berditchev were gathered in the synagogue of the holy Rabbi Levi Yitzchak. Hundreds of men, women, and children waited anxiously for the saintly Tzaddik to begin the Kol Nidrei service. But as they watched him, they couldn’t help noticing how deeply troubled he appeared.

Reb Levi Yitzchak stood and asked the congregants to recite Tehillim, psalms, and to pour out their hearts and seek divine mercy. His usual look of joyful optimism was replaced by an expression of deep anguish and concern. He stood in the corner praying with great distress. Time passed—but still no Kol Nidrei service.

Finally, a long while later, the Rabbi’s expression shifted to one of… Read More »


A little boy talked to himself as he strutted through his backyard, wearing his baseball cap and toting a bat and ball. “I’m the greatest hitter in the world,” he announced. Then he tossed the ball in the air, swung at it, and missed.

“Strike one!” he yelled. He picked up the ball and said again, “I’m the greatest hitter in the world!” He tossed the ball in the air, swung, and missed. “Strike two!” he cried.

The boy then paused to examine his bat and ball carefully. He spit on his hands and rubbed them together, straightened his cap and said once more, “I’m the greatest hitter in the world!” He tossed the ball up and swung. He missed. “Strike… Read More »


One Shabbat a cowboy went to shul. When he entered, he saw that he was the only congregant. The rabbi asked if he wanted him to give the sermon. The cowboy said, “I'm not a learned man, but if I went to feed my cattle and only one showed up, I'd feed him.” So the rabbi began.

One hour passed, then two, then two-and-a-half hours. Finally, the rabbi finished and asked the cowboy how he’d liked the sermon. The cowboy answered, “Well, I'm not a learned man, but if I went to feed my cattle and only one showed up, I sure wouldn't feed him all the hay.”

This Shabbat is the last Shabbat of the year 5777. On Wednesday night, September 20, we begin the holiday of Rosh Hashanah and the New Year, 5778.… Read More »


A little girl asked her mother for $2 to give to an old woman in the park. Her mother was touched by the child's kindness. "Here you are, sweetie," said the mom. "I guess she is too old to work?"

"Oh no," came the reply. "She sells ice cream."

This week's Torah portion, Ki Tavo, opens with a discussion of the Mitzvah of Bikkurim, the First Fruits. Upon the ripening of the first fruits of the season (any of the seven species associated with the Land of Israel), a farmer would fill a basket with the ripened fruits and bring it to the Temple in Jerusalem, and offer it as a gift to the Kohen, to declare thanks to G-d for the goodness He bestowed upon the farmer.

This Shabbat, when we read about the… Read More »


A professor in a military class asked his students, "What is the difference between an engagement and a battle?" 

No one offered any answer. The professor was frustrated. “Didn’t anyone read the material in the book?” he thundered.

Finally, one guy spoke up. "An engagement is the thing that comes before marriage," he said, "and the battle is what follows it."

Ben was the real rebellious type that always did his own thing and didn’t care about anybody. Some said it started at birth.

At five, he was already spelling out dirty words in his Alpha-Bet cereal. At seven, Ben carved snake tattoos into his sister’s Barbie doll.

 At ten, he and a couple of friends spent… Read More »


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 »


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 »


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 »



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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »

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