Angel for Shabbat

Resisting Religious Corruption: Thoughts for Shabbat Hanukkah

The lesson of Hanukkah is that religion and spirituality need to rise above petty politics. The light of Torah is not spread through arrogant, self-righteous authoritarianism; it is not spread by those who usurp power and who think they are above the law. As the prophet Zechariah taught: "Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts."

Thoughts for Thanksgiving

It is altogether fitting that Jews join fellow Americans in observing a day of Thanksgiving to the Almighty for all the blessings He has bestowed upon this country. Jews, in particular, have much reason to thank God for the opportunities and
freedoms granted to us in the United States.

A Three Year Old Bride? Thoughts on Parashat Hayyei Sarah

Students were told by their teacher that Rivka was three years old when she married Yitzhak--who was forty years old. A student asked: Is it reasonable to think that a forty year old man like Yithak would marry a three year old girl? The rabbi responded: if our sages say that Rivka was three years old, that's how old she was! There is no room for further discussion. Actually, there is a lot more room for discussion.

The Tower of Babel Revisited: Thoughts on Parashat Noah

God did not approve of this totalitarian and authoritarian model for society. He confused the languages and scattered the population. He wanted to foster a world with different ways of speaking and different ways of thinking; He wanted to foster individuality and personal responsibility. He wanted authority not to be centralized in one small clique, but dispersed among many individuals in many localities.

Esav, Yaacov and Us: Thoughts for Parashat Vayishlah

The Esavs of the world—whatever their religion or nationality—are hateful and arrogant bullies. The Yaacovs of the world—whatever their religion or nationality—need to stand up to those who would humiliate and crush them.
When people succumb to the self-image of victimhood, they live as perpetual victims. When the Yaacovs develop their strength and self-confidence, they can resist—and defeat—the bullying tactics of Esav.