Parasha Insights

How to grow with it and from it?

Everyone asked a 100-year-old man and his 98-year-old wife for their health secrets:

The old man said: "I'll tell you my secret. I've been married for 75 years. When we got married, I promised my wife that when we argue, the loser has to walk for 2 miles. So I've been walking 2 miles every day for the past 75 years!"

Everyone applauded and asked again: "But what is the secret to your wife’s health?"

The man replied, “Ah, for 75 years every single day she has been following me to make sure I really walk the full 2 miles!”

It is the most famous passage in the entire Torah. The very first Jewish words we learn as children. We recite it every night before going to sleep, every morning when we get out of… Read More »


Morris had died. His lawyer is standing before the family and reads out Morris' Last Will and Testament.

"To my dear wife Esther, I leave the house, 150 acres of land, and 1 million dollars.

To my son Barry, I leave my Big Lexus and the new Jaguar.

To my daughter Shirley, I leave my yacht and $250,000.

And to my brother-in-law Aaron, who always insisted that health is better than wealth, I leave my treadmill."

Moses opens his final sermon in this week’s portion Devarim by rebuking the Jews but in a hinted way.

But if you are going to rebuke someone for some negative thing they have done, would you hint at it and hope they pick up on your clues? Of course not. You must be explicit!

 A veiled rebuke is no rebuke. I… Read More »

To Flee or Not to Flee?

The Midrash is perturbed by the fact that in this week's Torah portion, Matot-Massei dedicated a full 49 verses, to enumerate every station of the 42 stations where the Jews camped during their journey in the wilderness over four decades.

It’s not like we know these locations, so we can go visit, and do a Shabbaton retreat there.

They set out from Rissah and encamped at Kehelath; Etc… Why does the Torah repeat 42 times?

The Midrash presents a fascinating perspective:

It once happened that they came to the Jewish leadership in Tzipori with harsh orders from the Roman government. Rebbe! What do you say we should do, should we flee? He hinted to them: "Why are you asking me? Go and ask Yaakov, Moshe, and David."

Read More »


Today July 6, 2023, is the 17th of the Hebrew month of Tammuz. It is the day on which the walls of Jerusalem were breached by the Babylonians in 586 BCE, enabling the enemy's conquest of the holy city, leading to the destruction of the Holy Temple three weeks later on the 9th of Av. Ever since, Tammuz 17 and Av 9 have been established by the Prophets and Sages as fast days, and the three week period between them as a time of sadness and mourning.

What is the mindset to enter into this period?

Let me share a story, recorded in the gripping autobiography of Rabbi Yisroel Meir Lau, Out of the Depths.

When Rabbi Lau, former chief rabbi of Israel, shuts his eyes and recalls his childhood, his mind is crowded with images of trains, of boots po… Read More »

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