Parasha Insights


A little boy was afraid of the dark. One night his mother told him to go out to the back porch and bring her the broom.

The little boy turned to his mother and said, "Mama, I don't want to go out there. It's dark."

The mother smiled reassuringly at her son. "You don't have to be afraid of the dark," she explained. "G-d is out there. He'll look after you and protect you."

The little boy looked at his mother real hard and asked, "Are you sure he's out there?"

"Yes, I'm sure. He is everywhere, and he is always ready to help you when you need him," she said.

The little boy thought about that for a minute and then went to the back door and cracked it a little. Peering out into the … Read More »


Natan Sharansky was a chess prodigy and a mathematician, who gave up a privileged position in Russia to become a refusenik and Jewish activist in 1973.  By 1979, he was arrested and served 9 years in prison, much of it in solitary confinement.  As a result of international pressure, he was finally released in 1986.  He moved to Israel, where, for a period of time, he was a politician.

 He was asked to characterize the difference between himself and other Israeli politicians. He answered, "unlike many Israeli political leaders, I went to jail before serving as a politician."


It is fascinating in this week’s Torah portion Vaetchanan Moses’ speaking impassioned to his people about their his… Read More »


A man and his wife are sitting in the living room. He says to her: “Just so you know… I never want to live in a vegetative state dependent on some machine.  If that ever happens, just pull the plug.”

His wife gets up and unplugs the TV…

The Talmud states:

Whoever mourns for Jerusalem merits and sees her joy; whoever does not mourn for Jerusalem does not see her joy.

Those who are loyal during the low time, remain, friends when the good times come around.

Yet the grammar is strange. The Talmud should have said, “Whoever mourns for Jerusalem will merit and see her joy,” in the future sense. Why does the Talmud say, “Whoever mourns for Jerusalem merits and sees her joy,” in th… Read More »


An American Jew visits Russia and is asked about life in America. Thank G-d, he replies, life is good, and how is life in the Soviet Union?

Here, replies the Russian, it is also good, but here we don’t say thank G-d. Here we say, Thank Putin.

“What will you say when Putin dies?” the American inquires.

“Then we will say thank G-d,” replies the Russian.

This week’s Torah Portion Matot - Masaei speaks on the journeys of the children of Israel who went out of the land of Egypt...

The Midrash compares G-d’s instruction to Moses to record all the forty-two stations in the nation’s journey from Egypt through the desert till the borders of the Promised Land to the story of a king travel… Read More »


A government official was arrested for accepting a bribe from a contractor. A friend who went to visit him in the lock-up asked, "How are you going to get out of this mess?"

The official replied calmly, "I got into trouble for accepting a bribe; I will get out of it by giving it."

It is a puzzling story—the tale of the five daughters of Tzelafchad, recorded in the portion of Pinchas.

They stood before Moses saying,

Our father died in the desert, but he was not in the assembly that banded together against G-d in Korah's assembly, but he died for his own sin, and he had no sons.

They asked Moses why should our father's name be eliminated from his family because he had no son? Give us his land portion alo… Read More »

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