Headlines »

October 23, 2021 – 11:31 pm | 39 views

 
The white beard and old age seem to go together. It is not surprising that they share the same cognate in Hebrew; a beard is zakan and old age is zaken. The Torah tells us that Abraham became zaken. Our sages combined the two meanings by saying that until that …

Read the full story »
Parsha Insights

Where Biblical law and Torah tale is brought vividly to life

Concepts

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

Shoftim: The Individual

August 10, 2021 – 9:53 pm |
individual-innerstream.ca

Today I want to talk to you about the individual. When nations go to war, they institute mandatory drafts. Wartime drafts are different from peacetime drafts. In peacetime drafts, soldiers are eligible for all kinds of exemptions. During war, everyone must serve. Exemptions are rare.
In Jewish law, however, it is …

Re’e: The Pivot

July 31, 2021 – 11:11 pm |
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 |
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 |
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 |
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 |
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 |
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 |
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 …