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Parasha Insights

BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE

What is the difference between a 20-year old, a 40 year old and a 60 year old? The 20-year old is self conscious and wants to make a good impression. The 40 year old declares: “I don't care what others think of me; I must be true to myself.” The 60- year old realizes that no one ever looked at him….

The Haftorah of this week's Torah portion—Tazria-Metzora—tells a fascinating narrative about the “four lepers.” In the First Temple era, the Syrian Army laid siege to the Jewish city of Samaria. The siege lasted so long that the Samaritans became desperate enough to resort to cannibalism.

The king of Israel, Jehoram, was not righteous, but seeing the plight of the Jews broke him. He illogically… Read More »

A LETTER FROM G-D TO EACH OF US

A police officer once pulled over a couple driving in a speeding car.  The officer sidles up to the car and says, "I clocked you at 80 mph, sir."

The husband driving the car says, "Gee, officer, I had it on cruise control at 65, perhaps your radar needs calibrating."

Not looking up from her afghan, his wife says sweetly, "Now don't be silly dear, you know very well this car doesn't have cruise control."

The driver shoots a look at his wife as the officer makes out the ticket. “Be quiet!” he hisses at her.

The wife smiles demurely and says "You should be thankful your radar detector went off when it did."

As the officer makes out a second ticket for the illegal radar detector… Read More »

WHAT DAY DID THE MAYFLOWER LEAVE PORT?

Alexander the Great once sat in judgment on one of his soldiers, found the man guilty, and sentenced him to death.

Believing the verdict was unjust, the soldier asked to appeal it.
“To whom do you appeal?” asked Alexander, “I am the highest authority.”

“Your Majesty,” answered the condemned man, “I appeal from Alexander the small to Alexander the Great.”

As we celebrate this Passover season, I’d like you to consider this simple question. Every day we are bombarded by millions of pieces of information, all clamoring for our attention. So why do we remember some things and forget others? What makes something stick?

Contrary to what we might imagine, scientists tell us,1 memory is not… Read More »

THE POWER OF WORDS

At a dinner celebrating 50 years of service for a rabbi, a guest speaker paid tribute to his many wonderful qualities: his dedication, wisdom, hard work, and foresight. As he sat down, the rabbi leaned over to him and said, “You forgot to mention one thing.”

“What was that?” the speaker asked.

The rabbi replied, “My humility.”

A Jewish mystic, commenting on the significance of the Four Cups, said: We read in the Zohar that when the Jews were in Egypt, the power of speech was also in bondage–a slave cannot express his thoughts and feelings freely. In the Exodus, the power of speech was redeemed together with the people.

Speech comes into being by using five instruments: the lips, teeth… Read More »

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