Parasha Insights


I write my weekly letter this Thursday, not from the comforts of Great Neck, but rather from the noisy, people-filled streets in Jerusalem. I am now in Israel in honor of my father’s 20th yahrtzeit and just prayed at the Kotel for my Great Neck family and the entire Jewish family.

Each time I come, there is something I notice that never ceases to amaze me.  We may speak differently, eat differently, drive differently,, and even “argue” differently, still, we are truly one people, one family, and one home.

I hear it in the conversations in Jerusalem, in the busy streets of Tel Aviv, and in the homes of “sabras”.  We all want a safer world, a more innocent life for our families, and our children… Read More »


Abie and Sadie had worked for years in the shmata business. Finally, they made it big, very big, and to get a little legitimacy they give a big gift to the local orchestra. As a thank you for their contribution, they are invited to a very fancy dinner party.

At the party, Sadie looks around for an entrée to this most impressive crowd. Hearing a group of ladies discussing Beethoven, she senses her chance. “Beethoven?” She says,

“Happens I know him very well. In fact, just the udder day I saw him on the number five bus going to the beach.”

There is a hushed silence. Everyone is embarrassed by Sadie’s faux pax. And then they all burst out in laughter.

Abie feels utterly humiliated. Back in the… Read More »


Math Teacher: "If I have 5 bottles in one hand and 6 in the other hand, what do I have?"  Student: "A drinking problem."

Teacher: "Which book has helped you the most in your life?"

Student: "My father's checkbook!"

It is one of those astounding enigmas, loaded with symbolism.

The cardinal event of Judaism happens in this week’s portion, Yitro, the event we call Matan Torah the giving of the Torah, or the Revelation at Mt. Sinai when G-d revealed Himself to an entire people and gave them the Ten Commandments. All of Judaism, from its most central tenets down to its most intricate laws, is based on that single event. If this event happened, all the Torah is true, if not—it… Read More »

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