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Parasha Insights

NEGATIVE RESULTS ARE JUST WHAT I WANT

A preacher trained his horse to go when he said, "Praise the Lord," and to stop when he said, "Amen". The preacher mounted the horse, said, "Praise the Lord" and went for a ride.

When he wanted to stop for lunch, he said, "Amen".

He took off again, saying, "Praise the Lord".

The horse started going toward the edge of the cliff. The preacher got excited and said, "Whoa!". Then he remembered and said, "Amen", so the horse stopped at the edge. The preacher was so relieved that he looked up to heaven and exclaimed, "Praise the Lord!"

The rest is history…

Some twenty-seven hundred years ago, one of the most dramatic events in Jewish history took place… Read More »

WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?

A Jewish man traveling in a train ends up sleeping in the same cabin compartment as a general of the Russian Czar's army. He tells the conductor to wake him up at 4 a.m. so he can get off at his stop. He is awakened at the proper time, yet in the dark, he mistakenly puts on the clothes of the general instead of his own.

When he gets home, his wife asks him if everything is all right. He looks in the mirror and answers, "it seems like the conductor woke up the general instead of me."

In this weeks Torah portion Tezaveh says, "You shall bring forward your brother Aaron, with his sons from among the Israelites to serve me as priests… You shall make holy clothes for Aaron your brother, for glory and for… Read More »

WE MAKE A LIFE BY WHAT WE GIVE

In an effort to better understand his Jewish constituents, the Mayor reached out to a popular Rabbi.

The Rabbi invited the Mayor to spend Shabbat at his home.

The Rabbi made Kiddush Friday night on a full cup of wine. Then he made a l’chaim (a toast to life) after the fish on some fine Scotch.

The main course came with Israeli wine. They said grace after a meal with another cup of wine.

The next day they made Kiddush on wine at the synagogue.

After the service, they ate at the Kiddush and made a few more l'chaims.

They went home and the Rabbi made Kiddush for his family on another cup of wine, some l'chaim after fish, nice single malt with the cholent stew and some more wine for grace after the meal. And then when it… Read More »

HOW CAN YOU ALLOW JUSTICE TO BLIND YOU?

It is a beautiful law, recorded in Mishpatim:

When you lend money to my people, to the poor man among you, do not press him for repayment. Do not take interest from him.

If you take your neighbor's [night] garment as security [for a loan], you must return it to him before sunset. For this alone is his covering, the garment for his skin. With what shall he sleep? Therefore, if he cries out to Me, I will listen, for I am compassionate. 

There are 613 mitzvot in the Torah. Most of them are recorded without an explicit reason, especially not when the rationale is quite self-evident. The Torah, for example, never tells us why not to murder, or steal, or kidnap, or help the needy.

Yet, here there is an exception to the rule. The… Read More »

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