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April 21, 2018 – 11:08 pm | 26 views

We are all familiar with chai, the Hebrew word for life. Chai has a numeric value of eighteen, which is why it is common for Jews to donate to charity in multiples of eighteen. The Talmud tells us that charity saves us from premature death.[1] When we donate in multiples …

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Passover: No Salt Rule

March 25, 2018 – 12:23 am | 141 views
no-salt-innerstream.org

Matzah has a no salt rule. It is made of flour and water. Nothing else. No liquids, no spices, not even salt. This is because the Matzah that we eat at the seder represents the poor person’s bread and the poor can’t afford to add flavor to their bread. The …

Tzav: Smoking Hot

March 17, 2018 – 11:31 pm | 103 views
smoking-hot-innerstream.ca

Smoke and FireThe temperature in the Temple was smoking hot. One can only imagine that the summer months in Jerusalem were hot enough as it was. Add to that the myriads of people that filled the temple on a given day, and the many fires atop the altar, and you …

Tetzveh: Good to the Last Drop

February 17, 2018 – 10:59 pm | One Comment | 397 views
last-drop-innerstream.ca

Are you a first drop or a last drop kind of person? When you squeeze an olive, the first drop is the purest, the last drop is extracted from the dregs. A first drop kind of person, is a perfectionist; one who strives for purity and the best in all …

Mishpatim: Sift and Sort

February 4, 2018 – 2:27 pm | 176 views
sift-and-sort-innerstream.ca

The Torah portion that follows the awe-inspiring story of Mount Sinai, presents formulaic monetary laws and laws of personal injury. Why should the resolution of petty squabbles be the first subject to follow the Sinai event, which surely placed our ancestors on a higher plane? Many answers have been offered, …

Bo: Enter the Exodus Mindset

January 13, 2018 – 10:39 pm | 320 views
enter-innerstream.ca

Names are instructive, they tell us a lot about the things that they describe. When Jewish custom and history settles on a name for a Torah portion, the name bears a connection to the general theme of the portion. The name of this portion is Bo, which means to enter. …

Rubashkin: Time to Forgive

December 26, 2017 – 11:03 pm | One Comment | 867 views
Rubashkin-innerstream.ca

The old conversation has reared its head again. When Shalom Mordechai Rubashkin was first charged with employing illegal and underage workers and with operating an unsafe work environment, I argued that we must give a fellow Jew the benefit of the doubt and assume innocence until proven guilty. When the …

Rubashkin: Celebrating the Release of a Convicted Felon?

December 23, 2017 – 11:03 pm | 237 views
Rubashkin-innerstream.ca

Eight years ago, Rabbi Shalom Mordechai Rubashkin was convicted on multiple charges of bank fraud, and sentenced to twenty-seven year in prison plus a restitution fine of 31 million dollars. Last Wednesday, the last day of Chanukah, 2017, Rubashkin’s sentence was commuted by President Donald Trump and the Jewish community …

Vayechi: Rejoice for Others

December 23, 2017 – 10:37 pm | 296 views
rejoice-for-others-innerstream.ca

To rejoice for others, when they receive the something that you coveted, is difficult. To rejoice for others despite personal disappointment, or loss, displays character, humility, and refinement. It is rare, but every parent hopes to see such virtue in their child.
As the sun sets on Friday and the weekday …