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September 24, 2022 – 11:00 pm | 0 views

The days of reckoning are here, and it is time for the loving exam. Most exams are associated with tension and trepidation. Irrespective of how well we know the material, proctors do their best to make it stressful. Fear of failure, fear of getting caught cheating, and fear of falling …

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Articles by Lazer Gurkow

Re’e: The Pivot

July 31, 2021 – 11:11 pm | 496 views
pivot-innerstream.ca

In the course of life, there are always moments of pivot. A moment when we recognize that we have strayed from the proper path, and we pivot—reverse course and head in the opposite direction. The moment of pivot is, at the risk of sounding cliché, pivotal. It isn’t merely a …

Vaetchanan: The Full Moon

July 18, 2021 – 7:14 pm | 465 views
full-moon

This Shabbat will be special because the full moon will shine on Friday night. The full moon occurs every month but is most important in the month of Av. The Temple’s destruction on the ninth day of this month was the low point in Jewish history. At that time, it …

Devarim: Response to Suffering

July 10, 2021 – 10:35 pm | 786 views
faith and suffering - innerstream

Suffering is sadly familiar to Jews. We have a long and painful history of suffering. Our sages taught that the Torah was given on Mount Sinai because Sinai is etymologically similar to sinah, which means hatred. From the day that we were chosen to become a light unto the nations, …

Matot Masei: The Three Weeks

July 3, 2021 – 11:42 pm | 505 views
three-weeks

We are in a time of year called the three weeks. During this time, Jerusalem was sacked twice, once by the Babylonians circa 420 BCE and again by the Romans in 69 CE.  Each time, our enemies struck directly at the Jewish heart by destroying the Temple. The Babylonians destroyed …

Pinchas: Between the Gates

June 29, 2021 – 10:07 pm | 652 views
between-the-gates

As the Jacob and his family entered the gates of Egypt, Yocheved, the mother of Moses, was born between the gates. The Torah tells us that seventy Jews traveled to Egypt. Yet, if you count the names of all the people listed in Jacob’s party, you find sixty-nine. Our sages …

Balak: Stolen Waters

June 19, 2021 – 11:26 pm | 510 views
stolen-waters

King Solomon famously wrote, “Stolen waters are sweeter.”[1] By this, he meant that the moment something is forbidden to us, we lust after it. Not because we like it or enjoy it, but because we can’t have it. It is a quirk of human nature to be titillated by the …

Chukat: An Available Tool

June 13, 2021 – 11:22 am | 739 views
available-tool

This week we read the Torah portion that delineates the laws of the Red Heifer. Jews who contacted a dead body were deemed ritually impure. The process of purification was lengthy, but one of the steps was for the impure person to be sprinkled with a mixture of water and …

Korach: Judaism Has a Message

June 9, 2021 – 12:18 pm | 1,785 views
Judaism-has-a-message-innerstream.ca

Judaism has a message for every topic in life. Many are surprised by this. Religion is expected to have a relevant take on spirituality and devotion, but what does religion know about geopolitics, race relations, or virology?
A Jew once asked Rabbi Sholom Ber Schneersohn, the fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe, which political …