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Parasha Insights

G-d is with us!

Welcome to the Seder

As we sit together around our Seder tables, we find ourselves retracing the steps of our ancestors on their monumental journey from the slavery of Egypt to the hopeful horizon of the Promised Land. At the heart of this story is a moment of decision — a hinge of history — that speaks urgently to the challenges we face today.

When Moses sent twelve spies into the Promised Land, ten came back overwhelmed by fear, broken by the challenges that lay across the Jordan River. They saw giants and said, “We cannot conquer this land.”

Joshua and Caleb saw the same giants and the same challenges. They were there too, crouched in the bushes and learning the landscape. Yet, they returned with a different re… Read More »

WHO IS A CONDUIT FOR BLESSINGS?

One Shabbat morning Schwartz strides angrily into shul and confronts Goldberg, during prayers: Goldberg is A THIEF! Goldberg is mortified and he exits the shul, shaking with humiliation. After the kiddush club, the rabbi wants a word with Schwartz, and once the assembled kiddush-makers have gone into lunch, the rabbi gently and firmly tells Schwartz that he has crossed a line with his public charge against Goldberg. Accusing a fellow friend of being a thief is no small matter.

Beyond that, public humiliation is simply unacceptable. “Next Shabbat, when everyone has arrived in shul, you must publicly retract your accusation.” During the week, the rabbi reassures Goldberg that matters would be set right. It’s Shabbat morning.… Read More »

CAN INTEGRITY PRESERVE YOUR LIFE?

People somehow delude themselves into thinking that Hamas and the people living in Gaza are two distinct entities and that Hamas took control of Gazans. They forget that Hamas does not control Gaza; rather, Gaza thinks Hamas. Hamas was elected by the people of Gaza in 2006, and more than 70 percent of Arabs living in Gaza and the West Bank support the murders of October 7th, 2023. 

The Torah states in this week’s portion Parshat Shmini / Hachodesh “This may you eat of all that is in the waters: everything that has fins and scales, you may eat. But anything that has no fins and scales, you may not eat.”  For a fish to be kosher, it needs both fins and scales.

The Talmud states a fascinating fact: “All fi… Read More »

CAN INTEGRITY PRESERVE YOUR LIFE?

People somehow delude themselves into thinking that Hamas and the people living in Gaza are two distinct entities and that Hamas took control of Gazans. They forget that Hamas does not control Gaza; rather, Gaza thinks Hamas. Hamas was elected by the people of Gaza in 2006, and more than 70 percent of Arabs living in Gaza and the West Bank support the murders of October 7th, 2023. 

The Torah states in this week’s portion Parshat Shmini / Hachodesh “This may you eat of all that is in the waters: everything that has fins and scales, you may eat. But anything that has no fins and scales, you may not eat.”  For a fish to be kosher, it needs both fins and scales.

The Talmud states a fascinating fact: “All fi… Read More »

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