It’s a Pleasure to Serve You

It’s a Pleasure to Serve You

The verses of the Shema begin with a commandment to “Serve G-d with all your heart. (Deut. 6:5)” The word for heart in the Hebrew text is written in a double manner—ordinarily, “with your whole heart” would be written as “Bchol...
Believe in the Goodness

Believe in the Goodness

In this week’s Parsha, the first in the Book of Devarim, Deuteronomy, Moshe recounts before Israel the episode of the spies, in which one representative of each of the twelve tribes entered into Israel to spy it out, and they returned with an evil report (see...
Start Building Now

Start Building Now

The portion this week begins with the laws of vows. The great Chassidic master, Rabbi Tzadok HaCohen ztl, established the following rule of biblical interpretation: the first place a particular word is used in the Torah is the word’s essence, its foundation, and...
The Face of A Dog

The Face of A Dog

In this week’s reading, G-d tells Moshe to ascend Mt. Avarim and look upon the Promised Land, which Moshe would not enter. Rather, he would soon pass away, as his brother Aharon had before him. Moshe immediately (and selflessly) calls upon HaShem to appoint a...
Battle Back with Blessings

Battle Back with Blessings

In Jewish tradition, one can pray for others in both formal and informal settings. Simply saying “Be well!” — or, as Mr. Spock put it, “Live long and prosper!” — is a prayer. Even the most common term used for greetings in Hebrew is...
In the Mind’s Eye

In the Mind’s Eye

You spot that fresh, warm chocolate cake, just pulled from the oven, calling out to you. The sweet, rich cocoa aroma invites you to help yourself to a healthy sized piece and savor the embrace of the fudge on your palate. The experience will overwhelm your emotions...