Parasha Insights


Chaim Bialik, one of Israel’s great poets, once found himself walking through the very religious neighborhood of Meah Shearim, in Jerusalem, looking for a synagogue. Coming across a young child in the street, Bialik asked him, “Where’s the synagogue?”

The child replied, “The synagogue is only for Jews, not for non-Jews.”To which Bialik retorted, “Why do you think I’m not Jewish? The child answered, “Because you are not wearing a kippah.” Bialik, looking up to the heavens, said, &ldquo… Read More »


The Pope goes to New York. He is picked up at the airport by a limousine driven by a Jew. He looks at the beautiful car and says to the driver, "You know, I hardly ever get to drive. Would you please let me?"

The Jewish driver is understandably hesitant and says, "I'm sorry, but I don't think I'm supposed to do that." 

But the Pope persists, "Please?" The driver finally lets up. "Oh, all right, I can't really say no to the Pope."

So the Pope  takes … Read More »

What is True Happiness?

This week's Torah portion Ki Tavo opens with a discussion of the Mitzvah of Bikkurim, the First Fruits. Upon the ripening of the first fruits of the season  a farmer would fill a basket with the ripened fruits and bring them to the Temple in Jerusalem, and offer them as a gift to the Kohen, to declare thanks to G-d for His goodness.

Bringing the Bikkurim was, first and foremost, a celebration of all the gifts the farmer received from G-d. It is interesting, that for the first several years in Israel, there were no Bikkurim. It only b… Read More »

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