Parasha Insights


A few one-liners by Woody Allen:
If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name at a Swiss bank.

If you want to make God laugh, tell him your future plans.

I'm astounded by people who want to 'know' the universe when it's so hard to find your way around Chinatown.

It is impossible to travel faster than light, and certainly not desirable, as one's hat keeps blowing off.

Moses knew all along it would not be easy. In this week’s portion, Shemot, Thus, when G-d summoned Moses to embark on a mission of setting his people free, he rejects the invite. The people, he says, will deem him a liar, a charlatan.

What does G-d do? He gives Moses three signs to perform for the people. First G-d tell… Read More »

Do you know how to show appreciation?

My daughter called me at work to say I was to phone Ian at my bank. The operator asked me what Ian’s last name was and I explained that he hadn’t left his surname. When she asked for his department, I said I didn’t know.

“There are 1500 employees in this building, ma’am,” she advised me rather curtly. “You must tell me the last name.”

After a few more brusque comments, I asked her for her name. “Danielle,” she said.

“And your last name?” I asked.

“Sorry,” she replied, “we don’t give out last names.”

As Jacob's demise approaches, our portion Vayechi relates, he sent for his son, Joseph, the Prime Minister of Egypt, and requested… Read More »


The story of this week’s Torah portion Vayigash Joseph revealing himself to his brothers after decades of bitter separation is one of the most dramatic in the entire Torah. Twenty-two years earlier, when Joseph was seventeen years old, his brothers kidnap him, threw him into a pit, then sold him as a slave to Egyptian merchants.

In Egypt, he spent twelve years in prison, from where he rose to become viceroy of the country. Now, more than two decades later, the moment was finally ripe for reconciliation.

Joseph could not hold in his emotions He dismissed from his chamber all of his Egyptian assistants, "And he began to weep and Joseph said to his brothers: 'I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?' His brothers were so astounded… Read More »


In 1970 Chaim immigrated to Jerusalem. He applied for a phone in his apartment, but weeks went by without one. Exasperated, he visited the phone company headquarters in the main Post Office in Jerusalem and asked the clerk when his phone would finally be installed.

"Sir," responded the clerk, "Israel has a major shortage of phone lines. There are Government Ministers, Army Generals, and Hospitals ahead of you who are also waiting for phones to become available."

“So you are telling me that I have no hope of getting a phone?

"Heaven forbid!” said the clerk. As a Jew, I am forbidden to tell you that there is no hope.

“There is always hope.”

Excited, Chaim repeated, "There is hope,… Read More »

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