Parasha Insights

Why Did Biden Kneel?

Sigmund Freud famously believed that a person's dreams are crucial to understanding what motivates them. He wrote, "The interpretation of dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind."

In a story, a gentile approached Rabbi Yishmael and said, "I had a dream that I swallowed a star." The rabbi responded by saying that the dream indicated that the person had killed a Jew, based on a verse in the Torah portion of Chukat-Balak: "A star went out from Jacob." The dream of swallowing a star symbolized murdering a Jew.

But why did Rabbi Yishmael interpret the dream using a cryptic verse? The verse in Balak refers to a warrior or leader, not every individual Jew, let alone a Jew… Read More »

Love Gone Too Far

Knowledge is power. This week Torah portion Shlach, the Jews are to embark on a military operation, they must gather intelligence. Moses selects twelve men, the best and brightest from each tribe, to scout out the land and return with a report: what is the land like, the people, the fortifications?

But what was seemingly a formality going terribly awry. The spies return divided. Ten of them speak of a terrifying land, filled with imposing giants, grotesque produce, and fortified cities. Only two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb, protest and defend the land. “Caleb silenced the people… and he said, ‘We can surely go up and take possession of it, for we can indeed overcome it.’”

In the morning, they refused to… Read More »


A man received a promotion to the position of Vice President of the company he worked for. The promotion went to his head, and for weeks on end, he bragged to anyone and everyone that he was now VP. His bragging came to an abrupt halt when his wife, so embarrassed by his behavior, said, “Listen Bob, it’s not that big a deal. These days everyone’s a vice president. Why do they even have a vice president of peas down at the supermarket!”

Somewhat deflated, Bob rang the local supermarket to find out if this was true. “Can I speak to the Vice President of peas please?” he asked, to which the reply came: “Of fresh or frozen?”

Rabbi Rafael of Barshad summed up his life’s philosophy as… Read More »

What is the ultimate parental guide?

Izzy owned a small pizza shop in Brooklyn. One day, a tax inspector knocked on his door and questioned him about his recent tax return.  Izzy had reported a net profit of $300.000 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 $300,000."

"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, Australia… Read More »

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