Parasha Insights


March 15, 1958, and young politician in his 40's by the name of Jack Kennedy went to the spotlight. Kennedy's opening line became part of his legend. Previously, his father John had been lampooned in the press as trying to use his family's money and influence to buy the election. Reaching into his pocket he, pulled out a telegram he said he had just received from his dad. It said, "Dear Jack, Don't buy a single vote more than is necessary—“I'll be damned if I'm going to pay for a landslide."

The Korach rebellion, the most serious of the many challenges to Moses’ leadership, was fierce. It involved Korach himself, a first cousin of Moses, three members of the tribe of Reuven, and 250 community leaders. The… Read More »


A rabbi stands before his congregation and reports to them that a massive hole has been found in the roof of the synagogue.

"Now I have good news and bad news for you," the Rabbi continues. "The good news is that we have the money to repair it; the bad news is that the money is in your Bank accounts."

This week's portion Shelach tells the story of twelve men who were dispatched by Moses from the desert to go and survey the Land of Israel and its inhabitants. The purpose of their journey was to prepare the Jewish people for the subsequent conquest and settlement of the Land.

The mission ended in disaster. The spies inculcated fear and despair among the Jews, resulting in national hysteria and refusal to continue the… Read More »


The Jewish people have spent almost a full year at Sinai. It is time to move on and continue the journey into the Promised Land. All is going according to the plan. At this point, the Torah in this weeks portion Behaalotecha chooses to relate a fascinating exchange between Moshe and his father in law:

Jethro, Moses’ father in law, has arrived at the Israelite camp sometime before. He brought Moses’ wife and their two sons with him from Midian to the desert. He remained for around a year.  Now, it is time to go back home. Moses pleads with his father-in-law to stay. Jethro refuses.

But what is most astonishing is that Moses is virtually begging him to stay. “Please do not leave us… You will be our… Read More »


A great Jerusalem Rabbi comes to a town. A Jewish couple comes to see him. "It has been many years since our marriage, and we are not yet blessed with any children. Please pray for us."


"I'm sorry to hear this," says the Rabbi. "Let me write down your names and mother's name on this piece of paper and when I return to Jerusalem, I will place it in the Kotel (Western Wall) for a special blessing."

"Thank you very much, rabbi," they say.

Five years later, the Rabbi returns to the same town. Walking in the street, he meets the woman. "So how are things?" He asks her. "Any good news?"

"Well rabbi, your prayers were answered. That note in the wall worked! We are now… Read More »

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