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February 16, 2019 – 9:46 pm | 61 views

Use your head is an idiom that means think things through carefully. Don’t just jump on the bandwagon. Use your head. Think about it, figure out the ramifications and avoid making a mistake.
The Torah says, “When you list the heads of the children of Israel according to their numbers.”[1] What …

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Articles in Free Choice

Matos Masei: Marijuana and Knives

July 8, 2018 – 9:38 pm | 456 views
weed-innerstream.ca

Marijuana and knives, what’s the connection?
Knives
In his book, The Better Angels of Our Nature,[1] Steven Pinker writes that he always had a difficult time with the rule of etiquette that doesn’t permit using a knife to shovel food onto the fork. He writes that after working without success to coax …

Balak: Weed is Now Legal

June 24, 2018 – 12:52 am | 647 views
weed-innerstream.ca

Canada has recently legalised weed, so we must ask, what is the Jewish perspective on weed?
Marijuana, or weed as it is known in the vernacular, is a derivative of the cannabis plant. On the surface, plants are kosher. The only thing to avoid when eating plants, are bugs, and by …

Rosh Hashanah: Pickled Meat and Free Choice

September 16, 2017 – 10:41 pm | 665 views
free-choice-innerstream.ca

Surface Attraction
A man once went to the butcher and saw two bins, one filled with fresh meat, the other, with pickled meat. The pickled meat smelled good and drew his attention. He bought five pounds of the it and returned the next day with terrible stomach pains. Why didn’t you …

Ki Tavo: A Matter of Perspective

September 2, 2017 – 10:39 pm | 819 views
perspective-innerstream.ca

Blessing and Curse
When you stand in Samaria, in the city of Shechem (Nablus), and look south and north, you quickly gain perspective. You see, Shechem is nestled between two great mountains, mount Gerizim to its south and Mount Ebal to its north. Gerizim has a natural spring, and is semi …

Shoftim: Guard Your Integrity

August 19, 2017 – 11:12 pm | 927 views
integrity-innerstream.ca

Integrity
The Torah tells us to post judges and guardians at the gates of our cities and “Eradicate evil from amongst you”.[1] We are taught that this rule applies not only to the city but also to the person. Every person is like a city; our limbs are the citizens, our …

Ekev: I Did It My Way

August 6, 2017 – 12:21 am | 910 views
i-did-it-my-way-innerstream.ca

My Way
Frank Sinatra famously sang, “I traveled each and every high way . . . but more, much more than this . . . I did it my way.”
The song struck a chord especially in the West because it acknowledged an uncanny truth. Despite our limitations, despite our failures, we …

B’haalotcha: Club Rules

June 4, 2017 – 1:05 am | 1,154 views
club-rules-innerstream.ca

The Hand-Book
When you first join a club, you obey all the club rules; you never make excessive noise and never smoke in public places. Yet, seniors at the club play fast and easy with rules, why is that? On your first day of high-school, you study the student-hand-book and memorize …

Passover: Chad Gadya

April 5, 2017 – 12:49 pm | 1,131 views
chad-gadya-innerstream.ca

A Conflagration
Although the Chad Gadya is not part of the Chabad tradition, the melody holds universal appeal. In fact, one of my earliest Passover memories is learning this classic. My Bubbie’s Haggadah had beautiful illustrations and I spent many hours pouring over the pictures of the kid, cat, dog, stick …