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January 15, 2022 – 7:20 pm | 38 views

When the Jewish people camped at Sinai, the Torah tells us that they were united. Rather than saying that they camped at Mount Sinai, the Torah says, he camped at Mount Sinai.[1] This draws the attention of Rashi, the eleventh century biblical commentator, who observes, “As one people with one …

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Articles by Lazer Gurkow

Bo: Ordinary Prayer

January 5, 2019 – 10:42 pm | 1,024 views
prayer-innerstream.ca

Does G-d listen to the prayer or ordinary people?
Would you pray for me, is a rather common request that people make of rabbis.
People assume that Rabbis are pious. They also assume that G-d listens to the pious more than He listens to ordinary people. I won’t quibble with the first …

Vaera: The Great Escape

December 26, 2018 – 9:50 am | 1,043 views
escape-innerstream.ca

The entire Jewish ordeal in Egypt was an effort to escape. What were they escaping from?
The minutia of mundane pleasures. The Jewish people were singled out to receive the Torah at Sinai. They were poised to climb to the precipice, to scale the greatest spiritual heights, but they were trapped …

Shemot: A Jew In Exile

December 22, 2018 – 11:33 pm | 1,125 views
in-exile-innerstream.ca

When Moses stood before the burning bush, G-d said to him, “I have seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and I have heard their cry because of their slave drivers.” Two verses later, G-d said: “And now, the cry of the children of Israel has come …

Vayechi: A Cast of Brothers

December 15, 2018 – 9:16 pm | 973 views
brothers-innerstream.ca

Joseph and his brothers had a rocky relationship. Over the years there had been some pretty bad times. They resented him and thought he maligned them to their father. For his part, Joseph didn’t help matters when he shared his grandiose dreams that cast him in the role of king …

Vayigash: Know It All

December 8, 2018 – 6:45 pm | 1,040 views
know-it-all-innerstream.ca

What do you do when you know it all? Life is only interesting when there is mystery. When we have questions to answer, theses to research, frontiers to explore, peaks to climb, depths to plumb, curiosities to quench, and knowledge to acquire, life has thrill and excitement. But what do …

Chanukah: Light in the Dark

December 2, 2018 – 9:50 pm | 1,085 views
light-innerstream.ca

The Chanukah candles usher light into darkness and warmth into cold. They are kindled as the sun sets and they are placed strategically in the window or doorway to catch the attention of passerby. This point is essential to Chanukah candles. After the streets have emptied of foot traffic, one …

Vayeshev: My Brother’s Keeper

November 24, 2018 – 9:43 pm | 1,489 views
grief-innerstream.ca

Cain famously asked, “am I my brother’s keeper?” History has not taken kindly to Cain and has responded with a resounding yes, you are your brother’s keeper. But Cain had done ill by Abel. What if it is the reverse, suppose your brother does ill by you, are you still …

Vayishlach: O Brother

November 17, 2018 – 9:12 pm | 1,235 views
brother-innerstream.ca

It had been thirty-four years since Jacob escaped his brother Esau’s wrath. During this time Jacob had spent fourteen years studying Torah and twenty years building his family. He had descended to the immoral pit of his uncle Laban’s home, and emerged unaffected and even stronger for the ordeal. Esau, …