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August 7, 2022 – 11:08 pm | 15 views

Today we have Myoffice, Mydrive, my-everything, so why not My-Shabbat?
At first blush, it ought to be our Shabbat, or most appropriately G-d’s Shabbat. How can we claim Shabbat for ourselves?
The answer is that we each have the capacity to enhance our Shabbat. Our sages wrote that only he who toils …

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Articles by Lazer Gurkow

Vayigash: Chutzpah

December 11, 2021 – 8:12 pm | 440 views
chutzpah-innerstream.ca

Chutzpah is a word that doesn’t need to be translated. Anyone who has ever had it knows exactly what it is. But it is also a word that doesn’t translate well. Audacity, nerve, gall, gumption, brazenness, and brashness, have all been used. But none of these do chutzpah justice. Some …

Vayechi: Priorities

December 11, 2021 – 8:09 pm | 621 views
priorities-innerstream.ca

What are your priorities in life?
Every Jewish parent knows that when it comes to blessing our children, Ephraim comes first. This is rooted in a passage in this week’s Torah portion. “He [Jacob] blessed them on that day saying, ‘With you Israel will bless, ‘may G-d make you like Ephraim …

Chanukah: The Dreidel

November 27, 2021 – 7:49 pm | 2,033 views
dreidel

The dreidel for Chanukah and the gragger (Ra’ashan) for Purim have the exact same structure, have you ever noticed? Both have a round bulb from which a stem protrudes. The difference is that the dreidel’s stem protrudes from the top of the dreidel and points upward, the gragger’s stem protrudes …

Vayeshev: Jewish Survival

November 20, 2021 – 8:39 pm | 388 views
jewish-survival

What is the secret that has enabled the Jewish survival over two thousand years of our diaspora?
Two weeks ago, we read about Jacob’s sojourn in his uncle Laban’s home. Last week we read about Jacob’s harrowing return journey home. Among many other challenges, he encountered his brother Esau, and they …

Vayishlach: Geed Hanasheh—Sciatic Nerve

November 13, 2021 – 10:30 pm | 2,041 views
geed-hanasheh-innerstream.ca

Geed hanasheh is the sciatic nerve, a sinew in the hip that Jews are forbidden to eat. Many know that kosher meat must be slaughtered and salted. Not many know about neekur, the intricate process that entails the removal of the animal’s forbidden parts, including the geed hanasheh. In fact, …

Vayetze: Find Our Calling

November 6, 2021 – 8:27 pm | 798 views
find-our-calling-innerstream.ca

To find our calling is the hallmark of life. Life isn’t a generic formula that can be applied to everyone equally. Each life is unique; each life story is highly individual. As children, we live with our parents and family, but as we grow and mature, we venture forth and …

Toldot: Rebirth

November 2, 2021 – 10:03 am | 529 views
rebirth-innerstream.ca

Rebirth means to reexperience the novelty, excitement, innocence, mystery, and magic of birth even after many years of life. A baby’s birth, such as that of Jacob and Esau described in this week’s Torah portion, is a majestic moment. Everyone present is enchanted by the miracle; the creation of something …

Chayei Sarah: The White Beard

October 23, 2021 – 11:31 pm | 747 views
beard-innerstream.ca

 
The white beard and old age seem to go together. It is not surprising that they share the same cognate in Hebrew; a beard is zakan and old age is zaken. The Torah tells us that Abraham became zaken. Our sages combined the two meanings by saying that until that …