Torah Commentary

Aharei Mot: Offering our Offspring to Molech

“Do not allow any of your offspring to be offered up to Molech.”  Leviticus 18:21 The many biblical references to child sacrifice to "gods" indicate that this was once a common practice.  Perhaps it still occurs in some cultures, but, than... Continue Reading »

Pesach's Socialist Message

“From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”  What might this phrase, a slogan usually associated with Karl Marx, albeit with much older antecedents[1], have to due to Pesach? Socialism/communism’s fundamental goal was t... Continue Reading »

Ethics: "Outing" an adulterer. Part Two.

In response to my post last week, "Outing" the Adulterer (Part One) Dale D. asked how to avoid Lashon Hara (“evil tongue/evil speech”) when fulfilling this mitzvah. Here are three questions we should ask ourselves before “Outing” someone: ... Continue Reading »

Ethics: "Outing" an adulterer. Part One.

“Heartbroken” discovered that not only was her “divorced” lover married, he was simultaneously cheating on her with another-other woman.   When Heartbroken broke off the relationship, he said terrible things about her.  She felt guilt... Continue Reading »

Yitro: The Paradox of Self(ish)-Reliance

Judaism disagrees with the maxim, “It’s better to give than to receive.” (The source of this maxim is “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” a quote ironically attributed by one Jew – Saul of Tarsus, better known as Paul the Apostle -- to anot... Continue Reading »

Beshallach: The proud, the few, the ... Jews?

A “Final Jeopardy” category this week was “World Religions.”  The “answer” was that this religion’s worldwide adherents number more than one billion, with particularly strong representation in the Middle East. The contestants chose Islam, Judais... Continue Reading »

Bo: Call me "A-RONE" (Aaron)

“What was your (deceased family member's) Hebrew name?" I always ask this question when preparing to officiate at a funeral.  I want to refer to it during the eulogy, perhaps connect it to an ancestor of the deceased and/or to a Jewish historic... Continue Reading »

New Jewish Ethics Advice Column: Please Submit Suggestions!

Shalom, Friends.  I am launching a new project, a Jewish Ethics Advice Column.   I request and invite your help by submitting, and encouraging others to submit, to me at rabbiartlevine@gmail.com, situations raising ethical issues. &nb... Continue Reading »

Va'era: Greatness Through 'Grateness'

Make new friends!  Increase your influence!  Be more successful!  Make more money!  Be healthier!  Live happier!   These sound like claims from a daytime TV commercial, a promotional video, a new mood-enhancing drug a... Continue Reading »

Yayechi: On Being a Madman

Which of these expressions best reflects Judaism’s philosophy about “anger management?”1. “Don’t get mad, get even.”2. “Keep calm and carry on.”3. “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going t... Continue Reading »
Dec 25
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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