Angel for Shabbat

The Deepest Music: Thoughts on Our Redemption from Egypt

The Pessah festival is a time of celebration of the Israelites' redemption from their servitude in Egypt. But as we commemorate the miraculous freedom from physical bondage, we must understand that the festival is also devoted to our spiritual re-awakening. Each of us has his and her individual song, the underlying melody which imbues our lives with meaning.

Talking without Conversing: Thoughts for Parashat Metsora

This week’s Torah portion deals with the malady of “tsara’at” which our sages understood as a punishment for “lashon hara,” negative language. The word “tsara’at” may be related to the word “tsar”—meaning narrow. It may have the connotation of narrowing/diminishing the value of others. When one diminishes others, the punishment is self-diminishment.

The "Bystander Problem"--Thoughts for Parashat Yitro

A Talmudic passage (Sotah 11a) offers an imaginary scenario relating to Pharaoh's decision to enslave the Israelites and murder their male babies. Bilam advised in favor of these evil decrees and ultimately died a violent death. Job remained neutral, and was later punished with horrible sufferings. Yitro opposed Pharaoh’s decrees, had to flee, and was ultimately rewarded.