Torah Commentary

Kedoshim: Love to disagree? Disagree to love!

Kedoshim: Love to disagree? Disagree to love!
“What can I learn from (you/him/her/them)?”  This is not normally the question we ask ourselves when deciding whether to meet with someone.  But if it was, we would be acting to fulfill what no less an authority than Rabbi Ak... Continue Reading »
May 01

No Jewish Future Without Israel?

This week, speaking at Israeli Memorial Day (Yom HaZikaron) ceremonies, Prime Minister Netanyahu said: “… we find comfort in the fact that these sons and daughters died for the noblest of causes: to ensure the survival of this nation.... Continue Reading »

Vayikra: Guilt is good.

Vayikra: Guilt is good.
“Guilty pleasure” usually refers to enjoying a trivial action that is nominally harmful -- like eating a rich chocolate bon-bon (but only one!) rather than a piece of fruit.  But although this is indeed a trivial example, the princip... Continue Reading »

Understanding Israel: Election Part 6: My Vote

Understanding Israel: Election Part 6: My Vote
“I can’t accept Arabs as 30% of the ruling coalition.  Fortunately, I don’t have to.  I’ll vote for Buji [Herzog] and Tzipi [Livni]… they’ll win … but they don’t have a coalition, so Bibi wi... Continue Reading »

Understanding Israel: Election: Part Five

Understanding Israel: Election: Part Five
[If you prefer to listen to this post, please scroll down to the end and click on the attached audio file.]  Can Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu win this election even if he loses it? The short answer is “yes.”  Current pol... Continue Reading »

Understanding Israel, Part Four, Elections

Understanding Israel, Part Four, Elections
[To listen to this posting, please scroll to the end and click on the attached audio file].   With the election less than three weeks away, the latest polls show Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Likud party in a tie – or even slightly b... Continue Reading »

Understanding Israel: The 2015 Election Part Three: Religious Parties

Understanding Israel: The 2015 Election Part Three: Religious Parties
[To listen to this segment, please scroll down to the end and click on the attached audio file.] One of the principal “fault lines” in Israeli politics is whether Israel should be a Jewish state or a state of the Jews.  “Jew... Continue Reading »

Understanding Israel, Segment #2: The 2015 Election: Arab Parties

Understanding Israel, Segment #2: The 2015 Election: Arab Parties
[To listen to this post, please scroll to the end and click on the attached file.] This week, in Part Two of “Understanding Israel, The 2015 Election: Israel Politics and the Party System,” let’s look at the Arab parties.   ... Continue Reading »

Understanding Israel Segment #1: The 2015 Election: The Role of Political Parties

Understanding Israel Segment #1: The 2015 Election: The Role of Political Parties
[Note: If you prefer listening, please scroll to the end and click on the attached audio file.]  In six weeks, March 17th, 2015, corresponding to the 26th of Adar, 5775 on the Jewish calendar, Israeli citizens will again head to the polls to ... Continue Reading »

Beshalach: Where is the manna sample?

Beshalach: Where is the manna sample?
G-d commanded Moses to preserve a manna sample for future generations “in order that they see the bread that I fed you in the desert when I took you out of the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 16:32-34).  For reasons unknown, the sample is... Continue Reading »
Jan 30
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If charity cost nothing, the world would be full of philanthropists.
Jewish Proverb