Torah Commentary

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

Bo: How You Can Help End the Ninth Plague

Bo: How You Can Help End the Ninth Plague
You probably remember that death of the first-born was the tenth and last of the increasingly awful Biblical plagues.  It was the one that finally broke Pharaoh’s iron will and obstinacy.    But which was the ninth, nearly-as-... Continue Reading »
Jan 23

Lech L'cha: End the Occupation!

Lech L'cha: End the Occupation!
G-d was just testing Avram (Abraham) when G-d ordered him to “Lech L’cha (‘Go forth‘) to a land that I will show you.”  Unfortunately, Avram failed the test.   He went, but when he discovered that the land w... Continue Reading »

Noah: No Jewish missionaries, just a Jewish mission.

Although the annual prescribed period for Jews to engage in intense introspection has just passed, it’s always timely to ask ourselves these two questions:  1.    What is the fundamental purpose of my life?   2.&nbs... Continue Reading »
Oct 24

B'reshit: In the (New) Beginning, the Holidays Were Over!

B'reshit: In the (New) Beginning, the Holidays Were Over!
I’ve just returned from celebrating a raucous Shimini Azeret/Simchat Torah holiday (these are the same day in Israel) in Efrat, the only town (pop. about 10,000) among smaller enclaves in the Gush Etzion “block” of Jewish settlement... Continue Reading »
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If charity cost nothing, the world would be full of philanthropists.
Jewish Proverb