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Rosh Hashanah: Against All Odds

September 12, 2020 – 11:37 pm | 76 views

Against all odds, life came to be. For life to flourish on earth, such precise conditions had to be met that even a tiny variation would have thrown it off. What were the odds that such precise conditions would be met on earth? Considering that it is the only place …

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Nitzavim »

Nitzavim Vayelech: A Nation of One

September 5, 2020 – 10:29 pm |
nation-of-one-innersteram.ca

The Torah portion that we read this Shabbat describes the Jewish people as a nation of one. “You all stand this day before G-d, your G-d the leaders, your tribes, your elders, and your officers, every man of Israel. your young children, your women, and your convert within your camp, your woodcutters, and your water carriers.”[1]

There are ten classes of people listed here, but Israel was not a class society—all stood equally and firmly before G-d. In the words of our sages, “though I enumerated separate classes, in my eyes you are all equal.”[2] When we stand on our own, we each stand alone, but when we stand before G-d, we are a nation of one. A singular organism comprised of many parts; E Pluribus Unum—from many, one. Read the full story »

Ki Tavo: Removed the Holy

August 29, 2020 – 10:58 pm |
removed-the-holy-innerstream.ca

In ancient Jerusalem, Jews would go the Temple every three years and proclaim, “I have removed the holy [portion] from my home.” What does it mean to remove the holy portion from the house?
Here is the background. Every year, the field owner would give a portion of his crop to …

Ki Tetze: A Winning Strategy

August 22, 2020 – 10:40 pm |
winning-strategy-innerstream.ca

When you go to war, you need a winning strategy. It doesn’t matter how strong or weak your army is, success depends on the strategy. If the generals devise a winning strategy, you have a chance of winning the war. If they don’t have a winning strategy, you have lost …

Shoftim: Ending Racism

August 15, 2020 – 11:00 pm |
racism-innerstream.ca

Racism is a social scourge that has taken many forms of expression throughout the ages. At its heart racism is rooted in the medieval caste society—the feudal lords and the surfs. If you were from noble extraction, you were considered inherently superior. If you were a serf, you were expected …

Re’e: Believe It

August 8, 2020 – 11:21 pm |
believe-it-innerstream.ca

It is hard to believe something that can’t be proved. It is even harder to believe in something you can’t see. Some people say, “when I see it, I will believe it.” Others say, “When you believe it, you will see it.”
When Covid-19 first came to our shores, I was …

Ekev: Cancel Culture

August 2, 2020 – 9:14 am |
cancel-culture-innerstream.ca

Ekev: Cancel Culture
Cancel Culture is a phrase one hears a lot these days. Cancel culture is the idea that if you don’t agree or even appear to agree with my thoughts, I will cancel your very integrity, let alone your credibility.
The problem with cancel culture is that as one group …

Va’etchanan: Unwarranted Love

July 27, 2020 – 7:58 pm |
unwarranted-love-innerstream.ca

Unwarranted love means to love someone that you have every right to hate. Jewish law has an extensive code around offering forgiveness and outlines specific cases in which we are not required to forgive. The ethic of unwarranted love summons us not only to forgive such people but also to …

Devarim: The Rational You

July 18, 2020 – 10:45 pm |
the-rational-you-innerstream.ca

The Torah is divided into two parts—the first four books and the last book. The last book is in a category of its own because it is largely written as if Moses were talking rather than as G-d talking. Rather than saying “Moses spoke” this book reads, “I spoke.”
However, before …

Matot Masei: The Torah View of Women

July 12, 2020 – 3:18 pm |
women

People often ask about the Torah’s view of women. A discussion about vows in this week’s Torah portion offers a surprising insight.
The Torah forbids many things such as shellfish, bacon, work during the Sabbath, collecting loans during the Sabbatical, and others. The Toral also permits many things. Yet, the Torah …