Entries for February 2013

Tetzaveh: Can’t You Knock?

Tetzaveh: Can’t You Knock?

I haven’t watched an I Love Lucy rerun in years.  But an entry in Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s book Love Your Neighbor concerning this week’s Torah portion, Tetzaveh, brought to mind a small detail about Lucy, Ricky, Fred, and Ethel.  As I remember it, most scenes began with Lucy in her living room or kitchen.  Shortly thereafter, one or more of the “gang” would open the front door and walk right in.  ...

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Feb 22

Purim: Could Mordecai Buy Life Insurance?

Purim: Could Mordecai Buy Life Insurance?

For me, Purim’s predominant, eternal theme is the precariousness of life for all Jews.   In a land ruled by others, even one that apparently welcomed and accepted us, (according to a Midrash, Mordecai, known to be a Jew, was a member of the royal security police; even if not, he was publicly honored for his action), an anti-Semite was nearly able to wipe us out.  Only a series of unlikely “coincidences” ... 

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T'rumah: Do Cherubs Carry Arrows or Fiery Swords?

T'rumah: Do Cherubs Carry Arrows or Fiery Swords?

This week, billions of people around the world – including many Jews – celebrated “Valentine’s Day” with greeting cards, candy, flowers, candlelight dinners, expensive gifts, etc.  They were perhaps inspired by the iconic symbol of the “romantic” holiday: a chubby, bow-and-arrow equipped cherub (Cupid) either hovering over a heart or shooting an arrow into it.  St. Valentine’s Day is obviously not a Jewish holiday.  Yet, perhaps surprisingly, cherubs do occupy a very special and even prominent place in Judaism!  ...

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Feb 15

Mishpatim: The Choosing People

Mishpatim: The Choosing People

“Am Yisrael Chai” – the Jewish People Live!  Why?  Judaism is very clear about this.  G-d redeemed us from slavery and gave us the Torah (written and oral) to live by in order to bring about righteousness in the world.  Even the most liberal Jewish ...

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Feb 08

Yitro: G-d and Satan discuss the 10 Commandments

Yitro: G-d and Satan discuss the 10 Commandments

G-d and His servant, Satan, were having another conversation. (Cross-ref. Book of Job).  G-d said: “I’m so proud of My Jewish people!  This Shabbat they’ll read Parashat Yitro, which includes what they call My “Ten Commandments.”  These are the core rules that set forth how I expect them to live, both in their relationship with Me and with each other.  They’ll even stand up while the Ten Commandments are read, which shows how important they consider them.” Satan was distinctly unimpressed. ...

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He who guards his mouth preserves his life
Proverbs 13:3