Angel for Shabbat

Masks and Realities: Thoughts for Parashat Va-et-hanan

Much human misery is the result of people betraying themselves by adopting artificial personae. They are so anxious to impress or blend in with others that they lose their own selves in the process. Even worse, they come to believe that they actually are what their masks portray them to be. For them, falsehood becomes truth. They no longer have the ability to distinguish between who they are and who they are pretending to be.

Thoughts for Tisha B'Av

Is it really fair to blame ourselves and our sins for all the sufferings we have undergone? How about those wicked nations and people who have tortured, murdered, exiled and humiliated us? Whatever sins were committed by the Jews of Temple days, weren't the sins of the Babylonians and Romans far worse? Instead of blaming ourselves, shouldn't we be blaming the vicious enemies who perpetrated such evil against us?

The Long Journey--Thoughts for Matot-Masei

Angel for Shabbat, Matot-Masei
by Rabbi Marc D. Angel

It is said that when Alexander the Great reached the peak of his career by conquering the entire known world—he broke down and cried.

One explanation for his crying is that he realized that there were no more battles for him to undertake. His best achievements were in the past. He had climbed to the top and had nowhere else to go. He cried in frustration.

Smile! No, I Mean Really Smile! Thoughts for Parashat Pinehas

Moses is seeking a leader who will be genuine, reliable and trustworthy. He asks for a leader who takes personal responsibility for each member of the community. He wants a real leader, not a false image of a leader. He wants a leader with an honest countenance, not one with a fake smile. He wants someone who actually believes in his mission, not someone who pretends to be a leader and goes through the charades of leadership for p.r. purposes.

Majorities Are Often Wrong: Thoughts for Parashat Shelah Lekha

Our goals should be to strive for genuine truth and to make the best decisions. We are more apt to achieve these goals if we think calmly and carefully, if we try to factor in all relevant information...and if we do not allow ourselves to be swept up by the fears, anxieties and judgments of others--even if they are the majority.