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Parasha Insights

Can Humans Be Objective?

A politician was sitting at his campaign headquarters when the phone rang. He listened intently, and after a moment his face brightened. When he hung up, he immediately phoned his mother to tell her the good news. "Ma," he shouted, "the results are in. I won the election!"   "Honestly?"  The politician's smiled faded. "Aw Ma, why bring that up at a time like this?"

The laws of inheritance that were initially given in the Torah, which recognized only male heirs, stated that sons inherit their fathers and are responsible to fully support the widow and daughters as long as they are not married. This week's portion of Pinchas tells of five daughters whose father had passed on.… Read More »

A Tale of Two Truths

 

Mr. Dewey was briefing a client who was preparing to testify in his own defense.

"You must swear to tell the complete truth. Got it?"

The client replied that he did.

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

The client looked straight at him and said, "I imagine that our side will win."

This Shabbat, July 23rd, 2016 is the 17th day of the Hebrew month of Tammuz. It is the day on which the walls of Jerusalem were breached (in 70 CE), enabling the enemy's conquest of the city, and leading to the destruction of the Holy Temple three weeks later on the 9th of Av. Ever since, 17 Tammuz and 9 Av are fast days, and the three week period… Read More »

THE POOR GIRL WAS LOST

 

A childless couple visited a rabbi to ask for a blessing for children. The rabbi told them he was going to Israel the following day, and he would pray for them at the Western Wall. “Write your request for children on a note and I will put it into the Wall.”

Five years later, the woman met the rabbi. “How have you been?” asked the Rabbi. “Do you have children?”

“Yes, we have eight children.”

“EIGHT CHILDREN IN FIVE YEARS?!”

“Yes. The first year I had triplets; the second, twins. The third, there were none. The fourth, I had one child. This year I had twins. That makes a total of eight children.”

The Rabbi was ecstatic. "Mazal Tov! Unbelievable… Read More »

NO ONE WILL BE LEFT BEHIND!

 

Regards from the Old City! The world has become smaller, but no Instagram shot can capture the high of being in our homeland of Israel.

Chanie and I, along with several other families from our community, are here for several days. From walking on the cobblestones of the Old City of Jerusalem to praying at the Western Wall; from hearing firsthand of the everyday strength of our Israeli brethren to a casual conversation with a Chayal, I am once again humbled. Am Yisrael Chai!

In 1902, a soul entered our world. It was estimated at that time that about half of the Jewish people had abandoned Judaism in search of a newer, better future. Within two decades, WWI and the Bolshevik revolution changed the map of Europe and… Read More »

The Drama with the Spies in Israel

 

The Israeli parliament, or Knesset, convened an emergency session to figure out a solution for the devastated Israeli economy.

One brilliant minister said, "Let's declare war on the U.S. In the wake of the utter destruction they will bring upon us, we will receive billions of dollars for reconstruction, like Germany and Japan."

"Sounds great," responded another member of the Knesset. "But what will we do if we win the war?"

This week's Torah portion, Shelach, describes the dramatic episode that unfolded 15 months after the Jewish Exodus from Egyptian slavery. The people of Israel were poised to enter the land promised by G-d to their ancestors. Moses dispatched 12 men—"all prestigious… Read More »

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