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...
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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Bond then Build

Bond then Build

The ultimate destination for the Jewish people after leaving Egypt was the Land of Israel. At the burning bush, G-d promised to Moshe (Moses), "I come to take [the Jewish nation] from the hand of Egypt... to a land that is good and spacious, to a land that flows with...

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You Can’t Google Torah

You Can’t Google Torah

The Internet is the wrong place to learn Torah. You may be surprised to hear that from one who manages the content and technology of Torah.org, a site devoted to teaching Torah, but I'm sure you'll agree it's true — as I'll explain. There are two Torah portions to...

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The Setting of a New Day

The Setting of a New Day

The first Mishnah asks: "From when do we read the Shema at night? From the time that the Kohanim enter to eat their Terumah." [Brachos 1:1] This is a very complicated answer to a very straightforward question. The Shema is a basic Jewish ritual, required in the Torah...

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