Parasha Insights


I want to take this opportunity to wish you all a

“Gamar Chatimah Tovah,” may you be sealed in the Book of Life for a good, sweet, and healthy new year.

A man once had too much to drink at a party. He made a fool of himself and then passed out. Friends helped his wife take him home. The next morning, he was very remorseful and asked his wife to forgive him. She agreed to forgive and forget the incident completely. Perhaps this story hits close to home for some of you...

As the months went by, however, his wife referred to the incident from time to time, always with a little note of ridicule and scorn in her voice.
Finally, the man was fed up with being reminded of his bad behavior and said, “I thought you were… Read More »


Years ago, at a crowded Chassidic gathering, I saw a ninety-year-old man agilely climb over a bench and push people aside to make room for himself. Someone called out: Old fellow, how do you move so agilely? He replied, “I am not an old man of ninety. I am three young men of thirty!”  I want to focus on two words that have the power to change our lives. I’ll begin with a story.

A rabbinic colleague of mine met a talented young man. It 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 soon the Rabbi realized that… Read More »


Chaim Bialik, one of Israel’s great poets, once found himself walking through the very religious neighborhood of Meah Shearim, in Jerusalem, looking for a synagogue. Coming across a young child in the street, Bialik asked him, “Where’s the synagogue?”

The child replied, “The synagogue is only for Jews, not for non-Jews.”  To which Bialik retorted, “ Why do you think I  m not Jewish?  The child answered, “ Because you are not wearing a kippah. ”  Bialik, looking up to the heavens, said, all of heaven is my kippah. The boy, looking up at him, said, “That’s far too big a kippah for such a small… Read More »


A couple is in the midst of a tremendous fight, as a gunman breaks into their home. Pointing his rifle at the woman of the home, he asks her for her name. The terrified woman mutters, “Elizabeth.”

“This is your lucky night,” the gunman responds. “I just can’t get myself to kill somebody who carries my mother’s name, may her soul rest in peace. My mother was a special woman. I won’t shoot you.”

He then points the riffle at her husband’s head. “What is your name?” thunders the gunman. The poor man is terror-struck. He knows that his answer will equal life or death, and pauses to think.

“If you don’t want your brains blown out, tell me your name right… Read More »

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