Titzaveh: Why Should We Observe Mitzvot?

Watch video.   Shabbat shalom, and if you are reading this the day I have posted it, Purim Sameach!     The name of this week’s Torah portion is תצוה “Tetzaveh,” which comes from the same Hebrew root as mitzvah&... Continue Reading »

Terumah: What’s in Your Heart (Not Your Wallet)?

Watch video.    Shabbat Shalom.    At the beginning of this week’s Torah portion, Terumah, G-d tells Moses to invite those Israelites who wish to do so to give Him Terumah, a word usually translated as “gifts.” ... Continue Reading »

Mishpatim: Do Not Oppress the Stranger. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat ...

Watch video.  I haven’t counted them to confirm this number, but evidently the Torah has 304,805 letters.      According to a principle of rabbinic exegesis -- that is, scriptural interpretation -- not even one of these 30... Continue Reading »

Yitro: A Kingdom of Priests and a Holy Nation?

Watch Video Chapter 19 of Exodus, Parashat Yitro, recounts that when the Israelites reached the mountain in Sinai, G-d instructed Moses:   “Thus shall you say to the house of Jacob and declare to the children of Israel: … ‘all the... Continue Reading »

Be-Shalach: "This is a test, but not 'only' a test."

Watch Video   Shabbat shalom.    We are likely all familiar with the basic story in this week’s Torah portion, Beshalach, of how G-d provided food for the Israelites during their forty years of wandering in the desert. &n... Continue Reading »

Va'era: You've Got Your Problems; I've Got Mine.

[ Watch or listen to this D'var Torah ] In the mid-WWII movie classic Casablanca, a young woman approaches Café-owner “Rick” (played by Humphrey Bogart) and tells him her problems.   She asks him for advice and reassurance that ... Continue Reading »

Shemot: Keep the Faith

View Video In this week’s Torah portion, Sh’mot, the first in the Book of Exodus, G-d appears to Moses from within the burning bush and instructs him to return to Egypt and lead the Israelites to freedom.  But Moses responds, &nb... Continue Reading »

Eikev: Was it a "Rock of Ages?"

As was widely reported in Israel recently, a heavy stone fell out of the Kotel (Western Wall) onto the pluralistic prayer platform.  You Tube clip accessible here. As soon as I saw that report, I anticipated that the Haredi (“Ultra-Orthodox... Continue Reading »

Leviticus: Don't Be So Forward!

The Book of Leviticus opens with G-d calling to Moses from the Tent of Meeting, “saying: ‘Speak to the Children of Israel and say to them…’” The phrasing is odd.  Why the apparently superfluous word “saying” (Leimor)? Our sages’ answer was tha... Continue Reading »

Vayeshev: You should have stopped me!

When I’m driving with my wife, I express annoyance when she tells me where to turn.  But what annoys me even more is her remaining quiet, as a result of my first complaint, when I make a wrong turn!   This is similar to a story told by the... Continue Reading »
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He who guards his mouth preserves his life
Proverbs 13:3