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Parasha Insights

A Precious Gift

A nutritionist was presenting at a conference.  "Years ago, the stuff we eat today would have killed us already," he said. "Red meat is awful. Processed food is making us fat, soft drinks corrode the stomach lining. Chinese food is loaded with MSG. High-fat diets have been a disaster for society, and nobody truly understands the long-term harm caused by the contamination in our drinking water."

Forcefully he continued, "But ladies and gentlemen, one food is the most dangerous, and we all have eaten, or will eat, it. Who can tell me which food has caused the most grief and suffering for years after eating it?"

After several moments of quiet, a 75-year-old man cautiously, softly, guessed: "Wedding… Read More »

SEEING OR HEARING?

A rabbi went for a swim in an empty public swimming pool.

A pool attendant ran over. “Hey!” he shouted. “What are you doing? There’s no lifeguard here! Can’t you read?” He pointed to a large sign hanging prominently on the pool fence reading: POOL CLOSED NO SWIMMING ALLOWED

“Of course I can read,” said the Rabbi. “The sign says: Pool closed? No! Swimming Allowed!”

It’s a silly joke, but it shows how one can master words without meaning. In the case of this rabbi, it shows how the law can even be understood to mean the exact opposite of what is intended.

This week’s Torah portion, Yitro, records the awesome and awe-inspiring spectacle that accompanied the giving of… Read More »

HOW CAN I CHANGE?

A successful businessman met with his new son-in-law. "Welcome to the family," said the man. "To show you how much we care for you, I'm making you a 50-50 partner in my business. All you have to do is manage the daily operations in the factory.”

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

"I see," replied the father-in-law. "Well, then you'll be in charge of the office responsibilities.”

"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 organization, but you don't like factories and won't… Read More »

WHO AM I?

I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, "Where's the self-help section?" She said, "If I told you, it would defeat the purpose."

This week’s Torah portion, Bo, tells what happened when G-d summoned Moses to liberate the Jews from Egypt:

But Moses said to God, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh...?

To which G-d responded:

"For I will be with you, and this is the sign for you that it was I Who sent you. When you take the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain."

How could Moses ask, Who Am I? G-d said Moses was the man to do the job! G-d knows His people. He chose Moses, period. No questions should be asked!

However, Moses’ question went far deeper than the… Read More »

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