Parasha Insights


Standing in front of a shredder with a piece of paper in his hand, "Listen," said the CEO, "this is a very sensitive and important document, and my secretary has left. Can you make this thing work?"

"Certainly," said the young executive.

He turned the machine on, inserted the paper, and pressed the start button.

"Excellent, excellent!" said the CEO as his paper disappeared inside the Shredder machine. "I just need one copy."

It was perhaps the single greatest collective failure of leadership in this Torah portion Shlach. Moses sent twelve men to spy out the land. The men were leaders, princes of their tribes, people of distinction. Yet ten of them came back with a demoralizing report

&l… Read More »


A man received a promotion to the position of Vice President of the company he worked for. The promotion went to his head, and for weeks on end, he bragged to anyone and everyone that he was now VP. His bragging came to an abrupt halt when his wife, so embarrassed by his behavior, said, “Listen, Bob, it’s not that big a deal. These days everyone’s a vice president. Why they even have a vice president of peas down at the supermarket!”

Somewhat deflated, Bob rang the local supermarket to find out if this was true. “Can I speak to the Vice President of peas please?” he asked, to which the reply came: “of fresh or frozen?”

Rabbi Rafael of Barshad summed up his life’s philosophy as follows:

Read More »


A bereaved husband feeling his loss very keenly found it desirable to divert his mind by traveling abroad. Before his departure, however, he left orders for a tombstone with the inscription:

"The light of my life has gone out."

Travel brought unexpected and speedy relief, and before the time for his return he had taken another wife. It was then that he remembered the inscription, and thinking it would not be pleasing to his new wife, he wrote to the stone-cutter, asking that he exercise his ingenuity in adapting it to the new conditions. After his return he took his new wife to see the tombstone and found that the inscription had been made to read:

"The light of my life has gone out

But I have struck another match.&… Read More »


A farmer and his wife were sitting on a couch when a tornado came and swept them out of the house. There they were, flying through the air together on the couch when the wife began to cry.

The farmer said to her, “This is no time to cry! We need to think of ways to land safely!”

She replied, “I can't help it! I'm so happy because this is the first time we've been out together in twenty years.”

Sometimes it takes a crisis to make us ask, who am I? What kind of spouse am I? What kind of person am I? What have I done with my capacities? It is part of the beauty of Judaism that on Shavuot we are called on to ask just that question:

Who am I?

Shortly before the famous French Enlightenment philosopher, … Read More »

Looking for older posts? See the sidebar for the Archive.