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June 8, 2024 – 11:29 pm | Comments Off on The Ultra Orthodox Draft41 views

Shavuot
Amid Israel’s war in Gaza, there is talk of drafting yeshivah students into the army to bolster its ranks. On Shavuot, we celebrate the anniversary of receiving the Torah, so I want to write about the role of Torah in war. The Torah is not just a dusty old book …

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Articles in D’varim

End of the Hakhel

September 2, 2023 – 10:52 pm | Comments Off on End of the Hakhel401 views
hakhel-innerstream.ca

We are at the end of a hakhel year. The seventh year of the cycle is shemitah—the sabbatical, when the land is left fallow, and everything that grows belongs to everyone equally. The following year is hakhel; all farms, vineyards, olive groves, etc., are back in business.
Hakhel means to gather. …

A Tale of Two Desires

August 26, 2023 – 11:39 pm | Comments Off on A Tale of Two Desires558 views
two-desires

Life is a tale of two desires. Sometimes, I think I know what I want, and I think that if I only had that, I would be happy. Then the darndest thing happens. I get what I thought would make me happy, and I am still not happy. What does …

Shoftim: Saved by the Law

August 11, 2023 – 6:36 pm | Comments Off on Shoftim: Saved by the Law498 views
court-ruling

This week, our Torah portion outlines the laws that govern a Jewish court. Jewish trials are not tried by a jury. Jewish trials are always tried by a panel of judges. One of the fascinating laws of Jewish jurisprudence is that if every judge on the panel finds a defendant …

Are We Children or Chosen?

August 5, 2023 – 10:54 pm | Comments Off on Are We Children or Chosen?484 views
chosen

Are we G-d’s children or G-d’s chosen?
On the face of it, one be both, but when you think about it, you see that we must choose. Choices can only be made between two equal options. When the options are unequal, there is no real choice—you obviously opt for the superior …

Chasing Wealth

July 29, 2023 – 11:19 pm | Comments Off on Chasing Wealth480 views
weatlh

Wealth is a blessing, but it is also a test. In the words of the Torah, when we grow wealthy, we grow haughty. We believe that we succeeded because of our industriousness, courage, tenacity, resourcefulness, and ambition. We forget that success is granted by G-d
The business environment is cutthroat, and …

A Message of Comfort

July 23, 2023 – 1:59 pm | Comments Off on A Message of Comfort598 views
comfort

On the Shabbat after Tishah Be’av, we seek comfort and inspiration. The Torah portion that we read this week serves up heaping portions of inspirational tidbits on generous platters. But it begins with a morbid moment: G-d refusing Moses’ plea to enter Israel.
On Tishah Be’av our people were exiled from …

Full of Hot Air

July 15, 2023 – 11:10 pm | Comments Off on Full of Hot Air619 views
hot air

This week we discover that Jews are full of hot air. The story of the spies is recounted by Moses in the first portion of the book of Deuteronomy. He relates the negative report that the spies brought back from Israel and the fact that Jews believed this report and …

Freedom of Thought

October 1, 2022 – 10:43 pm | Comments Off on Freedom of Thought805 views
freedom-of-thought-innerstream.ca

Freedom of thought is a G-d given right. In communist and socialist countries, the individual is made to cede to the collective. In dictatorships the collective is compelled to cede to the dictator. But this is not what G-d intended for us humans. G-d intended for us to have freedom …