Angel for Shabbat

Strategies for Confronting our Enemies: Thoughts for Parashat Vayishlah

For many centuries, Jews became accustomed to an attitude of passivity and defenselessness. They relied on prayers or on material gifts to those in power. In the modern period, Jews have added the strategy of political and military power. Our task today is to maintain a proper balance that includes all three dimensions: prayer, diplomacy, military strength..

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.

Two Confrontations with Angels: Thoughts for Parashat Vayetsei

Coming together as a mahaneh is our way of saving our lives. Coming together as an edah is our way of saving our way of life. Even when we are seemingly at peace, we must see the angels of Mahanaim and be prepared to defend our lives from enemies. Even when we are in the midst of battle, we must never lose sight of the angels connecting heaven and earth.

Wickedness is a Strange Malady: Thoughts for Parashat Vayera

Wickedness doesn’t only come from wicked people. It also comes from weak people, frightened people, people more concerned with their own immediate gains than with the long-term needs of society. The Torah’s account of the wickedness of Sodom stands as an eternal warning about what can happen to a society if good people are intimidated into passivity and silence. The story about Sodom is not only about Sodom.

Torah for Today: Thoughts for Simhat Torah

As we approach Simhat Torah, we have some heaviness of heart this year.  We read of high levels of covid 19 infections among Hareidi communities in Israel, New York, Lakewood and elsewhere. Even though many Hareidim follow the rules, many apparently do not. Disregard for covid 19 rules not only spreads illness, but gives Torah Judaism a very bad name. Torah Judaism should be characterized by ideal behavior and clear thinking.

Shedding Light on the Akedah Story: Thoughts for Parashat Vayera

The story of the Akedah, the binding of Isaac, is one of the most powerful and enigmatic passages in the Torah. Why did God need to test Abraham’s faith in such a dramatic fashion? Why did Abraham heed God’s instruction to sacrifice Isaac without offering any resistance? Why did the angel of the Lord wait until the very last moment—when Abraham had a knife at Isaac’s throat—to intervene?