Parasha Insights


A man goes to consult a specialist about his medical problem. After the visits, the man asks, "How much do I owe you?" "My fee is five hundred dollars," replies the physician.

"Five hundred dollars? That's impossible. No one charges that much!" "In your case," the doctor replies, "I suppose I could adjust my fee to three hundred."

"Three hundred dollars? For one visit? Ridiculous."

"Well, then, could you afford two hundred?"

"Who has that kind of money?"

"Look, replies the doctor," growing irritated, "Just give me fifty bucks and get out."

"I can give you twenty says the man. Take it or leave it."

"I don't understand you… Read More »


The opening of this week’s Torah portion Tezaveh is:

You [Moses] shall instruct the Israelites to bring you clear oil of olives for lighting, for kindling the lamps [of the Menorah] regularly.

The obvious question is, since as the Torah continues to say Moses was not the one to kindle the Menorah, why did they bring the oil to him? Moses was the leader of the nation and oversaw the project of constructing the Tabernacle and preparing the necessary items. But why does the Torah emphasize that the oil be brought to Moses, something it does not do with any other item used in the Sanctuary?

The Midrash raises the following question: The Prophet Jeremiah states that G-d has called the Jewish people “an olive tree.”

G-d name… Read More »


Sam was a single guy living at home with his father and working in the family business.

When he found out he was going to inherit a fortune when his sickly father will die, he decided he needed a wife with whom to share his fortune.

One evening at an investment meeting he spotted a woman whose natural beauty grabbed his attention.

"I may look like just a plain, ordinary man," he said to her, "but in just a short while, my father will die, and I'll inherit 30 million dollars."

Impressed, the woman obtained his business card.

Three days later... she became his stepmother.

The holiest article in the Tabernacle that the Jewish people constructed in the desert was the Ark, which housed the Tablets of the Ten Commandment… Read More »


On a pleasant April morning in Jerusalem several years ago, a 20-something young guy crossed an intersection at a red light. A police officer who happens to be standing there stops him. Another officer suddenly shows up, this one running. So, the young guy loses his cool and bolts. The two officers give chase and catch him. 

Now, our young hero has no criminal background. But for whatever reason, he made the mistake of fleeing from a police officer. He later says that when the second officer suddenly rushed up to him, he panicked and ran perhaps because he had just started a new job. He didn’t know why he had fled. 

Well, the police slap him with “interference of a police officer discharging duties.” The young … Read More »

Why the Obsession with Israel?

One of the intriguing things about the Ten Commandments, that we will read on this Shabbat Torah portion Yitro given to the Jewish people is that they were engraved on two separate tablets. Was G-d short of granite that He needed to use two tablets? Why could He not carve the commandments onto a single stone?

There is the stereotypical Jew-bashing joke about this. Before coming to the Jews, G-d approached all the nations and asked if they would like to accept the Torah. Each of them refused because of some commandment in the Bible to which they could not possibly adhere. When G-d presented the offer to the Jews, their sole question was: How much do you want for it?

To which G-d responded: “It’s for free.” … Read More »

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