A Voluntary Offering, and a Second Chance

This week's reading, the first chapters of Vayikra (Leviticus), discusses various types of voluntary offerings that a person could bring in the Holy Temple — whether from oxen, sheep, doves, or flour. While fulfilling obligations always came first, a person had the...
Let’s Talk About Retirement

Let’s Talk About Retirement

What do you hope to be doing when you're eighty years old? In last week's Torah reading, the story of the enslavement of the Jewish people in Egypt and their ultimate redemption began. The key figures in this story are Moshe and Aharon (Moses and Aaron), who were...

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Do You Love Your Luggage?

Do You Love Your Luggage?

What do you find more restful - relaxing on a couch, or carrying packages? It seems like a silly question, right? "He saw that rest was good, that the land was pleasant, and he tilted his shoulder to take a burden. (Gen. 49:15)" This is how Jacob, on his deathbed,...

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Spirited Celebration

Spirited Celebration

Joseph's tears flowed as he wept on his father Jacob's shoulder. It had been 22 years from the time Jacob sent Joseph to check on his brothers, only to learn that he had been tragically devoured by a wild desert beast. Jacob was inconsolable for 22 years, but his...

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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...

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Hope Against Hope

Hope Against Hope

Yaakov's sons saw their brother Yosef as a threat, and devised a plot to kill him. The oldest brother, Reuven, seeing that his brother Yosef was about to be killed, quickly came up with a plan. Reuven said, "Do not spill his blood. Throw him into this pit in the...

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Is it Plugged in, Sir?

Is it Plugged in, Sir?

A tale told by technical support engineers goes as follows: Larry was happily browsing online when his new computer suddenly went blank. He pressed the power button on and off multiple times, but that didn't help. Knocking the monitor, banging on the keyboard, and...

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