Torah Commentary

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 »

Vaiyetzei: How to Bargain with G-d

Is it okay to try to bargain with G-d for what we want, and if so, what's the most likely effective method? In this week’s Parashah, Vayeitzei, Jacob flees from his brother Esau after receiving their father’s blessing through trickery.   J... Continue Reading »

Toledot: Hunting and Guns in Judaism

“When the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the outdoors.”  Genesis 25:27  It’s hard to think of an area that more starkly contrasts American and Jewish culture than hunting and guns.  They are hugely popular in Am... Continue Reading »

Chai Sarah: How Should We Help Others?

In this week’s Torah portion Abraham sends his servant Eliezer to find a wife for Isaac.  Abraham provides no criteria other than that she must come from the land of Abraham’s birth.  The future character of the Jewish people is in Eliezer’... Continue Reading »
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A bird that you set free may be caught again, but a word that escapes your lips will not return.
Jewish Proverb