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Parasha Insights

MOSHE DIES AND WE DANCE?

Bob Smith was sick of his job and was determined to find work elsewhere. He was a truthful man, never uttered a lie, but he had one vice: he never showed up on time to his job.

So no matter how hard he tried, his reputation as someone who was not dedicated to the job, followed him around. One day the phone rang at his office. Although Bob did not usually pick up the phone, he picked it up and said hello. “Hi” said the man on the line, “I have an unusual question to ask you, I’m looking into a fellow Bob Smith for a position in my company. Do you know this fellow?”

“Sure I know him”, responded Bob with a smile.

“Tell me,” asked the man. “Is he consistent with his work? Does he… Read More »

HAPPINESS IS NOT A DESTINATION- IT IS A DIRECTION

An architect, a surgeon, and a politician are arguing who of them holds the most prominent position.  The surgeon said, 'Look, we're the most important. The very first thing G-d did was surgery: to extract Eve from Adam's rib.'

The architect said, 'No, wait a minute, G-d is an architect first and foremost. G-d made the world in six days out of chaos.'  The politician smiled, 'And who made the chaos?’

Comes Sukkot, and Jews the world over become expert botanists, suddenly gaining impeccable tastes in the growth, health, and beauty of a citron fruit, a palm branch, a myrtle and a willow. These are the four species which Jews around the world have spent exorbitant amounts of money to buy what they perceived to be… Read More »

THE SOCIAL OR DIVINE MIRROR?

Have you ever visited one of those funhouse mirror-rooms? You stand before the mirrors and they show you a bizarre and distorted caricature of your body. You laugh at the reflection because it is preposterous. It is both you and not you.

But what if you believed that the funhouse mirror showed the truth about the shape of the world and your place in it?  You’d be horrified. Yet, in many ways, this kind of distortion afflicts our self-image in today’s society. When we define ourselves by the negative opinions and perceptions of the people around us, our view of ourselves is like the reflection in the crazy mirror. We see things that aren’t there and miss the beauty of the things that are. That is why the view we have… Read More »

A NEW YEAR FULL OF NEW ENERGY

A distinguished rabbi once said, “The synagogue is like a swimming pool: All of the noise comes from the shallow end.” In our synagogue, everyone swims in the deep end, with deep wisdom. I want to take this opportunity to wish you, all of our deep-end swimmers, a Shana Tova: A happy and healthy sweet new year!

A rabbinic colleague of mine met a talented young man who seemed like he was blessed with everything. He was smart, charismatic, handsome, and came from a loving family. When the rabbi first met him, he thought that if anybody had a reason for happiness, it would be this man. He seemed to lack nothing. But the rabbi soon realized that the opposite was true. One day the young man confessed, “Rabbi, I have so many… Read More »

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