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September 17, 2021 – 12:03 am | One Comment | 812 views

I sit in my study late at night after breaking the fast of Yom Kippur. As I do every year, I feel euphoric. The day was so intense, we invested so much effort, and the Divine dividends that will be paid out over the year will surely be generous. We …

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Shabbat Shuvah: Jewish Guilt

September 4, 2021 – 11:02 pm | 106 views
guilt-innersteram.ca

Have you ever heard of Jewish guilt? Well, of course. If you have a Jewish mother, you know about Jewish guilt. But the truth is that Jews have little to do with guilt. In fact, the Catholics claim to have cornered the market on guilt. Considering the Catholic doctrine of …

Nitzavim: Tears of Joy

August 28, 2021 – 10:57 pm | 118 views
tears-innerstream.ca

 The eyes of a Jew on Rosh Hashanah—the annual day of judgment, are often filled with tears and remorse. We know we will be judged for our behavior. We also know that some of our behavior has been compulsive, some of our personality has been toxic, and some of our …

Ki Tetze: A License To Eat

August 14, 2021 – 10:52 pm | 124 views
not yours - innerstream.ca

When you work in your fellow’s vineyard, you have a license to eat his grapes. When you visit your neighbor’s vineyard, you don’t have a license to eat. If you pluck a grape during a visit without permission, it is theft.
How much can you eat if you work in the …

Devarim: Response to Suffering

July 10, 2021 – 10:35 pm | 205 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 | 174 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 | 162 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 | 181 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 …

B’ha’alotcha: Tithe for Israel

May 23, 2021 – 12:05 am | 258 views
Israel-innerstream.ca

Israel seems to be a recurring problem for the Jewish people. Ever since Joshua conquered the land, nations have tried to wrest it from us. Our ancestors fought recurring battles against the Moabites, Midianites, Canaanites, Amalekites, Ammonites, and Philistines. Later came the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, and finally, the Romans, …