Headlines »

September 21, 2020 – 10:18 pm | 26 views

The Baal Shem Tov is said to have once heard a cantor confessing his sins on Yom Kippur to a joyful melody. The Baal Shem Tov asked him why he was so happy? The cantor replied that if he had the privilege to remove the garbage from the king’s palace, …

Read the full story »
Parsha Insights

Where Biblical law and Torah tale is brought vividly to life


The Jewish perspective on topical and controversial subjects

Life Cycle

Probing for meaning in our journey and its milestones.

Yearly Cycle

Discover depth and mystique in the annual Jewish festivals

Rabbi’s Desk

Seeking life’s lessons in news items and current events

Home » Archive by Category

Articles in Concepts

Rosh Hashanah: Against All Odds

September 12, 2020 – 11:37 pm | 83 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 …

Shoftim: Ending Racism

August 15, 2020 – 11:00 pm | 133 views

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 …

Ekev: Cancel Culture

August 2, 2020 – 9:14 am | 183 views

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 …

Devarim: The Rational You

July 18, 2020 – 10:45 pm | 214 views

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 | 301 views

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 …

Shelach: Depersonalize

June 21, 2020 – 12:29 am | 349 views

The ability to depersonalize is key to social interaction. It is normal for people to disagree, after all, G-d gave us each unique brains and mindsets. It is impossible for us all to see the world the same way. Disagreements are inevitable. But in and of themselves, disagreements don’t jeopardize …

Shelach: To Smile or To Cry?

June 13, 2020 – 11:51 pm | 330 views

The Torah relates a fascinating human-interest story about people who couldn’t help themselves and had to satisfy their curiosity. As is often the case, when we chase down our curiosities, they turn against us.
It had been more than a year since the Jews had left Egypt, and they were anxious …

B’ha’alotcha: On the Derech

June 6, 2020 – 11:29 pm | 225 views

Derech is Hebrew for path or way. In the Jewish world, there is a phrase that you are likely familiar with, on the derech or off the derech. Those who are on the path toward increasing their Torah observance, are described as on the derech”—on the way and making inroads. …