Loving Our Land

This week's Torah reading includes the second paragraph of the Shema, recited in our morning and evening prayers. This paragraph talks about reward and punishment, and how they are tied to our homeland, the Land of Israel: "And if you will surely listen to my...
Love Beyond Limits

Love Beyond Limits

"I recall the kindness of your youth, the love between us when you were a bride. Your following me into the desert, a land that was not planted (Jeremiah 2:3)." One would expect to hear these words of endearment, found in this week's Haftorah reading, at a time of...

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To Grasp Eternity

To Grasp Eternity

In this week's reading, HaShem tells Moshe that he will soon pass on, and to take Yehushua (Joshua) to be next leader of the Jewish nation. It is Yehoshua who will lead to the Children of Israel across the Jordan River into the Promised Land. Yehoshua was Moshe's...

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Preemptive Passion

Preemptive Passion

In this week's reading, we learn of Bilaam, the non-Jewish prophet who was called to come curse the Jews. Once given the opportunity, Bilaam saddled his own donkey at the break of dawn. This was totally out of character for an honored and wealthy man. He was so...

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From Behind the Furnace

From Behind the Furnace

Korach was a descendant of Levi, a member of the Levite family charged with the honor of transporting the vessels of the Holy Tabernacle. Korach himself was among those honored with carrying the holiest vessel, the Ark of the Covenant, containing the tablets from Mt....

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Would I Lie to You?

Would I Lie to You?

Did you know that in 2006 I was Time Magazine's person of the year? No kidding - look it up! This week, we learn the Torah Portion about the spies, those sent to scout out the Promised Land of Canaan. All but Yehoshua and Kalev (Joshua and Kaleb) returned with a...

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Pranks and Pride

Pranks and Pride

Many years ago, a group of rebellious Yeshiva high school boys decided to entertain themselves by making prank calls. They had little respect for authority, even for distinguished Rabbis, and their game was to call well-known Torah scholars, ask them bogus questions...

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