Parasha Insights


One day at a busy airport, the passengers on a commercial airliner are seated, waiting for the cockpit crew to show up so they can get underway. The pilot and co-pilot finally appear in the rear of the plane and begin walking up to the cockpit through the center aisle. Both appear to be blind.

The pilot is using a white cane, bumping into passengers right and left as he stumbles down the aisle, and the co-pilot is using a guide dog. Both have their eyes covered with huge sunglasses. At first, the passengers don't react, thinking that it must be some sort of practical joke. However, after a few minutes, the engines start revving and the airplane starts moving.

The passengers look at each other with some uneasiness, whispering among… Read More »


Izzy owned a small deli in Stamford Hill, in London. One day, a tax inspector knocked on his door and questioned him about his recent tax return. Izzy had reported a net profit of $250.000 for the year and he wanted to know all about it. "It’s like this," said Izzy. "I work like a maniac all year round and all of my family helps me out whenever they can. My deli is closed only five days a year. That’s how I made $250,000."

"It's not your income that bothers us," said the taxman. "It's the business travel deductions of $80,000 that worries us. You entered on the tax return that you and your wife made 28 business trips to Israel, Italy, Switzerland, France, the US, Hawaii, and the Caribbean… Read More »


In 1970  Chaim emigrates from New York to settle in Jerusalem.  He applies for a phone to be installed in his apartment.  

Weeks go by, and no phone.  Exasperated, he goes to the phone company headquarters located in the main Post Office in Jerusalem.  He says to the clerk, "when will my phone be installed?"

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

So", says Chaim, "you are telling me that I have no hope of getting a phone?"

"Heaven forbid," the clerk reassures him.  As a Jew, I… Read More »


In an American history discussion group, Professor Langer was trying to explain how society's ideal of beauty changes with time. 'For example, he said, 'take the 1921 Miss America. She stood five feet, one inch tall, weighed 108 pounds, and had measurements of 30-25-32. How do you think she'd do in today's version of the contest?'

The class fell silent for a moment. Then Freddie piped up, 'Not very well.'

'Why is that?' asked Professor Langer. 'For one thing,' Freddie added, 'She'd be way too old.'

In this week’s Torah portion Shmini states that there are two signs by which we identify a kosher species of animal. The first sign is that it has split hooves. The other is cud-chewing. A kosher animal has multiple stomachs. It… Read More »


We begin to celebrate Passover with a Seder, the word “Seder” means “order,” and it is central to the Jewish concept of freedom, both for society and the individual. We become “G-d's partners in the work of creation” when we create order in society – for, in fact, we cannot create a society of justice and righteousness unless we first have ordered.





Winston Churchill once said: "For the first twenty-five years of my life, I wanted freedom. For the next twenty-five years of my life, I wanted to order. In the next twenty-five years of my life, I realized that order is freedom."





Churchill said it took him fifty years to… Read More »

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