We’re No Abraham

We’re No Abraham

Is it easy to make a moral choice? Moshe, our teacher, tells us that it is, at least in principle: “See that I have placed before you today ‘blessing’ and ‘curse’. The blessing, if you will listen to the Commandments of HaShem your G-d...
To Heel the World

To Heel the World

Our reading this week begins with an unusual word in its opening verse: “And it will be that as a consequence [Eikev] of listening to these judgments, guarding and doing them, that HaShem your G-d will guard for you the Covenant and the kindness which He swore...
Wisdom in the Skies

Wisdom in the Skies

In the Talmud, the Sages tell us to study the skies, or more specifically the calculations of the calendar: “says Rabbi Shmuel bar Nachmeini in the name of Rebbe Yochanon: from where do we know that it is a Mitzvah to calculate the seasons and the months? For it...
Coming off the Back Bench

Coming off the Back Bench

The Torah portion of Dvarim, beginning the last of the 5 books of Moses, is universally read on the Sabbath proceeding the Ninth of Av, when we commemorate the destruction of both Temples and other tragedies throughout Jewish history. Each week’s reading is...
Why Do We Need Window Shades?

Why Do We Need Window Shades?

In this week’s reading, the gentile prophet Bila’am famously tries to curse the Jews, only to bless them each time. The Torah says, “and Bila’am lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel dwelling according to their tribes, and the Spirit of G-d...