Parasha Insights


Winston Churchill was a man of great insight. He once said, “Of all the virtues, courage is the greatest virtue because, without it, you can’t have any of the others.” What good is it to be kind, honest, charitable or just, only when it’s easy? You cannot practice any of the other virtues very long without bringing courage into play.

There’s a classic study, conducted by psychologists Charlan Nemeth and Cynthia Chiles, demonstrating that one act of courage supports another. Each participant in the study is matched with three other people, and a researcher shows each group a series of 20 slides. After each slide is presented, the researcher pauses to ask each person what color the slide is. It’s an easy… Read More »


A guy joins a monastery and takes a vow of silence: he’s allowed to say two words every seven years.

After the first seven years, the elders bring him in and ask for his two words.

"Cold floors," he says. They nod and send him away.

Seven more years pass. They bring him back in and ask for his two words. He clears his throat.

"Bad food," he says. They nod and send him away.

Seven more years pass. They bring him in for his two words.

"I quit," he says.  "That’s not surprising," the elders say. "You’ve done nothing but complain since you got here."

There is a fascinating story recorded in Midrash in the opening of this week’s portion Metzora:

The… Read More »


There was this guy at a bar, just looking at his drink. He stays like that for half of an hour.

Then, this big trouble-making truck driver steps next to him take the drink from the guy and just drinks it all down. The poor man starts crying. The truck driver says, “Come on man, I was just joking. Here, I’ll buy you another drink. I just can’t stand to see a man cry.”

“No, it’s not that. This day is the worst of my life. First, I fall asleep, and I go late to my office. My boss, outrageous, fires me. When I leave the building, to my car, I found out it was stolen. The police said that they can do nothing. I get a cab to return home, and when I leave it, I remember I left my wallet and credit cards… Read More »

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