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Parasha Insights

WHAT IS THE POWER OF A JEWISH WOMAN?

Teacher: "If I gave you 2 cats and another 2 cats and another 2, how many would you have?" Johnny: "Seven."

Teacher: "No, listen carefully... If I gave you two cats, and another two cats and another two, how many would you have?" Johnny: "Seven."

Teacher: "Let me put it to you differently. If I gave you two apples, and another two apples and another two, how many would you have?"

Johnny: "Six."

Teacher: "Good. Now if I gave you two cats, and another two cats and another two, how many would you have?"  Johnny: "Seven!"

Teacher: "Johnny, where do you get seven from?!"

Johnny: "Because I've already got a freaking cat!

In this week's… Read More »

WHAT CAN YOU LOOK LIKE?

March 15, 1958, and young politician in his 40's by the name of Jack Kennedy went to the spotlight. Kennedy's opening line became part of his legend. Previously, his father John had been lampooned in the press as trying to use his family's money and influence to buy the election. Reaching into his pocket he, pulled out a telegram he said he had just received from his dad. It said, "Dear Jack, Don't buy a single vote more than is necessary—“I'll be damned if I'm going to pay for a landslide."

The Korach rebellion, the most serious of the many challenges to Moses’ leadership, was fierce. It involved Korach himself, a first cousin of Moses, three members of the tribe of Reuven, and 250 community leaders. The… Read More »

WHAT IS THE FIRST KEY TO SUCCESS?

A rabbi stands before his congregation and reports to them that a massive hole has been found in the roof of the synagogue.

"Now I have good news and bad news for you," the Rabbi continues. "The good news is that we have the money to repair it; the bad news is that the money is in your Bank accounts."

This week's portion Shelach tells the story of twelve men who were dispatched by Moses from the desert to go and survey the Land of Israel and its inhabitants. The purpose of their journey was to prepare the Jewish people for the subsequent conquest and settlement of the Land.

The mission ended in disaster. The spies inculcated fear and despair among the Jews, resulting in national hysteria and refusal to continue the… Read More »

CAN YOU ACQUIRE A FRESH PERSPECTIVE?

The Jewish people have spent almost a full year at Sinai. It is time to move on and continue the journey into the Promised Land. All is going according to the plan. At this point, the Torah in this weeks portion Behaalotecha chooses to relate a fascinating exchange between Moshe and his father in law:

Jethro, Moses’ father in law, has arrived at the Israelite camp sometime before. He brought Moses’ wife and their two sons with him from Midian to the desert. He remained for around a year.  Now, it is time to go back home. Moses pleads with his father-in-law to stay. Jethro refuses.

But what is most astonishing is that Moses is virtually begging him to stay. “Please do not leave us… You will be our… Read More »

IS THERE A MANUAL FOR PARENTING?

A great Jerusalem Rabbi comes to a town. A Jewish couple comes to see him. "It has been many years since our marriage, and we are not yet blessed with any children. Please pray for us."

 

"I'm sorry to hear this," says the Rabbi. "Let me write down your names and mother's name on this piece of paper and when I return to Jerusalem, I will place it in the Kotel (Western Wall) for a special blessing."

"Thank you very much, rabbi," they say.

Five years later, the Rabbi returns to the same town. Walking in the street, he meets the woman. "So how are things?" He asks her. "Any good news?"

"Well rabbi, your prayers were answered. That note in the wall worked! We are now… Read More »

ARE YOU IN CHARGE OF YOUR LIFE?

You know the story of the man who came to the therapist for a very serious problem.

“How can I help you?” asks the therapist.

Yes, says the patient. Please tell me what time is it?

That’s why you came to me? Asks the therapist. Are you nuts? It’s three o'clock!

Patient: Oh, no! G-d help me.

Therapist: What's the matter?

Patient: I've been asking the time all day. And everybody gives me a different answer!...

It is one of those strange, intriguing, poignant, and profound Talmudic tales.

Rav Yehuda said in the name of Rav: When Moses ascended on High (after the giving of the Torah), he found the Holy One, sitting and tying crowns on the letters of the Torah.

Moses said before G-d: Master of the… Read More »

G-D WEIGHS THE JEWS?

Reb Yankel of Chelm was always very busy and was always tired. He always told his friends that when he retires, he will finally have time to rest. When the time of retirement came, he was very excited.

A few days later, his friend sees him walking around town yawning loudly. When asked why he is still so tired, Yankel responds: "When you are not working, you don't have opportunities to take a break!"

On April 18, 2011, a vicious assault took place at a McDonald’s in Rosedale, Maryland where 22-year-old Chrissy Lee Polis was attacked by two teenagers who punched her in the face with their fists, pulling her hair, dragging her across the store, kicking her until she had a seizure. The assault received national attention… Read More »

IS IT MORAL TO USE NAZI DATA TO SAVE A LIFE?

I want to share with you a story which dates back to the early 19th century

As a young man, Rabbi Hillel heard of the founder of Chabad, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, and sought to meet with him. But the opportunity seemed to forever elude the young prodigy.

In anticipation of his encounter with Rabbi Schneur Zalman, Rabbi Hillel had “armed” himself in Talmudic study. At that time, the young scholar was studying the tractate Erchin, or “Appraisals,” the laws of how to appraise the value of one's pledges to charity, discussed in our Torah portion Behar-Bechukotai. He hid under the bed. From his hiding place, Rabbi Hillel heard the Rebbe enter the room. But before he could make a move, he heard Rabbi Schneur… Read More »

CAN I FIX MY PAST?

You know the text message I received from a heavy smoker acquaintance: “I just read an article on the dangers of heavy smoking. It scared the daylights out of me. So that’s it: after today . . . no more reading!”

The fourteenth day of the month of Iyar that is today we are celebrating the "Second Passover."

When the Holy Temple stood in Jerusalem, this day served as a "second chance" for those who were unable to bring the Passover offering on the eve of the "first" Passover one month earlier, the 14th of Nissan. Today, we mark and commemorate the date by eating matzah.

 How did this unique “second chance” holiday come… Read More »

REVENGE, GRUDGES, AND FORGIVENESS

This Dvar Torah is dedicated in loving memory of a young Shliach/Rabbi in Hanover, Germany, Rabbi Binyamin OBM Wolf who tragically passed away this week from Covid-19 at the age of 43. He is survived by his wife, 8 children, by his parents and siblings. May we share good news in the future.

Once, on Yom Kippur, a Rabbi spoke about forgiveness.

After the sermon, he asked how many were willing to forgive their enemies.

About half held up their hands.

Not satisfied, he lectured the congregation for another twenty minutes and repeated his question. This received a response of eighty percent.

Still unsatisfied, he lectured for fifteen more minutes and repeated his question.

All responded except one elderly lady in the… Read More »

MAMA! COME BACK TO NEST

Why computers should be considered masculine:

1. They have a lot of data but are still clueless.

2. They are supposed to help you solve your problems, but half the time they are the problem.

3. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that, if you had waited a little longer, you could have had a better model and for much cheaper.


 


Why computers should be considered feminine:

1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic.

2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else.

3. Even your smallest mistakes are stored in long-term memory for later retrieval.

4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on… Read More »

WHAT IS THE GREATEST JOKE?

After just being convicted, a guy is sentenced to prison. On his first day there, he hangs around with his cellmate who promises to show him the ropes. At mealtime, they both pick up a tray of food and find a place to sit. Shortly thereafter, some guy in the dining hall stands up and yells "NUMBER 34!". Suddenly the entire place goes into an uproar.

Some guys are laughing and clapping and others are rolling around on the floor. Not long after another guy stands up and yells "NUMBER 5!". Again, the place goes into an uproar.

The new inmate is puzzled by all this and asks his friend what was going on.

"Well", said the friend, "since we are cut off from society, we rarely get to hear any new jokes. Since… Read More »

WHY WILL YOUR "LONELY" SEDER BE SO SPECIAL THIS YEAR ?

Reaching the end of a job interview, the Human Resources Person asked a young Engineer fresh out of Texas A&M, "And what starting salary were you looking for?"

The Engineer said, "In the neighborhood of $325,000 a year, depending on the benefits package."

The interviewer said, "Well, what would you say to a package of 5 weeks’ vacation, 14 paid holidays, full medical and dental, a company matching retirement fund for 50% of your salary, and a company car leased every 2 years -- say a red Corvette?"

The Engineer sat up straight and said, "Wow! Are you kidding?"

And the interviewer replied, "Yeah, of course, I am kidding, but you started the kidding around."

In less than a week… Read More »

DO YOU EXPERIENCE A NUCLEAR LOVE RELATIONSHIP?

In the 1970's, a Russian school inspector is questioning the children. He points to one of the boys and says, "Who is your father?"

The boy replies, "The Soviet Union."

He then asks, "Who is your mother?"

"The communist party," came the reply.

"And what do you want to be when you grow up?"

"I want to be a Stankhanovite worker for the glory of the state and the party."

The inspector then points to one of the girls and asks, "Who is your father?"

The girl answers, "The Soviet Union."

"Who is your mother?" -- "The communist party."

"And what do you want to be when you grow up?"

"A heroine of the Soviet Union raising… Read More »

DO YOU THINK YOU MATTER?

Shalom to all my friends in Great Neck and to all my virtual friends, so many of whom I feel I know personally from your feedback and comments on my weekly emails.

Today, I write to you from home, not my temporary home in Great Neck but our true home, the land of Israel. I am here to commemorate my dear father's yartzeit OBM.

When the plane touched down in Ben Gurion airport, an inexplicable feeling of warmth enveloped me for I knew I was home, in a country that G-d has said will always be ours.

 

Earlier today, I met with some of “our kids” from Great Neck who are here studying in our country. What innocence, what exuberance, what a positive passion and excitement they have for the land of Israel, Torat Yisrael, and… Read More »

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