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Parasha Insights

HOW MUCH DO YOU CARE?

I do not care how much you know until I know how much you care!

A couple had two little boys, ages 8 and 10, who were excessively mischievous. They were always getting into trouble and their parents knew that, if any mischief occurred in their town, their sons were probably involved.

The boys' mother heard that a Rabbi in town had been successful in disciplining children, so she asked if he would speak with her boys. The Rabbi agreed but asked to see them individually. So the mother sent her 8-year-old first, in the morning, with the older boy to see the grand rabbi in the afternoon.

The great rabbi, a huge man with a booming voice, sat the younger boy down and asked him sternly, "Where is G-d?”

The boy's mouth dropped open… Read More »

SHAKE IT OFF & TAKE A STEP UP

The opening of this week’s Torah portion, Bo, reads: "And G-d said to Moses: 'Come to Pharaoh, because I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his servants in order that I might show My signs in their midst….'”

Two obvious questions come to mind:

1) Why does G-d tell Moses to “come to Pharaoh”? Would it not have been more appropriate to say, “Go to Pharaoh”?

2) The sentence “Come to Pharaoh, because I have hardened his heart” is strange. How does the fact that his heart was hardened constitute the reason to “come to Pharaoh”? The Torah should have stated, “Come to Pharaoh and warn him.”

The Zohar, the fundamental text of Kabbalah… Read More »

NO PAIN, NO GAIN

An American Jew visits Russia and is asked about life in America. “Thank G-d,” he says, “life's good. How's life in the Soviet Union?” 

“Here,” replies the Russian, “it is also good, but here we don’t say thank G-d. Here we say, 'Thank Putin.'” 

“What will you say when Putin dies?” the American inquiries. 

“Then we will say 'Thank G-d,'” replies the Russian. 

In this week’s Torah portion, Vaeira, G-d tells Moses: "I, too, have heard the moans of the children of Israel, from the slavery that the Egyptians are enslaving them, and I remembered My covenant.” 

What is the meaning of the words, “And… Read More »

HOW TO DEAL WITH STORMS IN LIFE?

A man wanted a boat more than anything. His wife kept refusing, but he bought one anyway. “In the spirit of compromise,” he told her, “why don't you name the boat?"  Being a good sport, she accepted.

When her husband went to the dock for his maiden voyage, he saw the name painted on the side:  “For Sale.”

In this week’s Torah portion, Shemot, the Torah discusses how the Jews came down to Egypt and the long exile began.

We are in the middle of a major snowstorm in New York. Many are asking, how do we deal with vulnerabilities in life?

The Talmud says: The Rabbis taught: A person should always be pliant as the reed and let him never be hard as the cedar.

The Talmud is… Read More »

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