All in the Family

All in the Family

Celebrating Purim, the rabbis tell us, entails four things: hearing the reading of the Megillah (the Scroll of Esther), having a festive meal, giving gifts to the poor, and sending food packages to friends. Those are the four commandments of the day. The first two...
Let It Go Through You

Let It Go Through You

In this week’s reading, Moshe and the Jewish nation gathered at the foot of Mount Sinai to receive the Torah. Judaism teaches us that along with the Written Torah printed in every Bible, God also taught Moshe the Oral Law, giving much more detail about the...
The Angels Are In the Details

The Angels Are In the Details

When lighting the Menorah on Chanukah, we are instructed to light one light the first night, adding one light (to the left of the first) each night until lighting eight on the final night of the holiday. This is one of the famous arguments of the House of Hillel and...
The Counsel of My Heart

The Counsel of My Heart

Our reading this week contains an extraordinary passage, one which is very relevant for the upcoming High Holy Days. Moshe gathers the Nation of Israel together, and describes to them a truly unforgivable sin. It is so terrible that “Hashem will not be willing...
Looking Down the Road

Looking Down the Road

In this week’s reading, Rashi, Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, tells us to what extent the Torah demands an elevated standard of conduct. He warns us that even if we follow the letter of the law, but try to push the envelope — doing what we can get away with rather...