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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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Eikev : Transforming our Desert

August 3, 2005 – 1:41 am | Comments Off on Eikev : Transforming our Desert
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Miraculous Oasis
The desert that our ancestors traveled was arid and infertile, inhospitable to all forms of life. Despite their forty-year sojourn in the desert our ancestors survived and even thrived. G-d provided Manna, fresh water and a protective canopy of clouds, thus creating a miraculous oasis, a rare climate for …

Balak: Slander and Narcissism

July 15, 2005 – 2:45 pm | Comments Off on Balak: Slander and Narcissism
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Bilaam
Bilaam was a narcissistic megalomaniac. He would have made an interesting case study had he been analyzed by modern psychologists. He was a master manipulator who tried to bend everyone to his will. He even attempted to manipulate G-d! (1)

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D’varim : Absolute Faith

July 15, 2005 – 8:01 am | Comments Off on D’varim : Absolute Faith
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The Untenable Dilemma
On a trip to Israel in November of 2001, I asked a number of Israelis to share their thoughts on how the Intafada might be quelled. Their response was, “There is no resolution. The State of Israel will continue to exist and so will the Intafada. Somehow we …

Sh’lach L’chah : Despite All Odds

June 21, 2005 – 5:28 am | Comments Off on Sh’lach L’chah : Despite All Odds
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Communicating Truths
In May of 1967, an Egyptian parliamentary delegation visiting Moscow was told that Israel had concentrated its army on the Syrian border and that an imminent Israeli invasion of Syria should be expected.

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Naso : The Priestly Blessing of Love

May 18, 2005 – 1:42 am | Comments Off on Naso : The Priestly Blessing of Love
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The Ritual
If you have ever been to the Synagogue during the Priestly blessing, you know it is a celestial experience. The Kohen removes his shoes, approaches the podium his fase hidden behind his prayer shawl. He extends his hands towards the congregation, fingers parted and palms stretched outwards, he awaits, …

K’doshim : Exclusive Dedication

May 6, 2005 – 3:35 pm | Comments Off on K’doshim : Exclusive Dedication
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Sanctity and Dedication
Our Parsha begins this week with an anomalous command for an anomalous reason. “Sanctify yourself,” the Torah instructs us,
“for I am sanctified.” (1) How does one sanctify oneself? and what exactly is the Torah referring to when it tells us that G-d is
sanctified? Furthermore, why does the fact …

Passover : Moses – The Executive

April 19, 2005 – 5:08 am | Comments Off on Passover : Moses – The Executive
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The Achilles Heel
Friends of mine, who are blessed with a wonderful marriage, have recently confessed that money is the  Achilles heel of their relationship. From the very beginning, he has always wanted to save and she has always wanted to spend. (They thought they were alone, huh?)

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Shmini : Foundation of the Law

March 29, 2005 – 11:46 pm | Comments Off on Shmini : Foundation of the Law
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Inauguration
It was a festive day. After months of preparation and seven days of training the priestly family was anointed. They donned the sacred vestments and inaugurated the sacrificial rite. Aaron, the High Priest, climbed to the top of the altar and offered up a sacrifice whereupon G-d’s presence descended upon …