Angel for Shabbat

Not Somebody Else, Just Us: Thoughts on Parashat Terumah

We cannot rely on Somebody Else, on “the rabbis”, on “the community” on “the synagogue” to do what needs to be done. Each of us has a role to play. Each can give of our talents and resources to the best of our ability. Each can take personal responsibility and realize that Somebody Else isn’t available to do the work that needs to be done.

The Spirit of Amalek Lives! Thoughts for Shabbat Zakhor

This week's maftir portion includes verses commanding us to obliterate the memory of Amalek, the classic arch-enemy of the people of Israel. Yet, the Torah also lists other peoples who oppressed the Israelites. The Egyptians enslaved us for centuries; the Edomites and Moabites harmed us--yet only Amalek is singled out for our eternal enmity.

Resolving an Identity Crisis: Thoughts for Parashat Vayiggash

In re-uniting with his brothers, Joseph asked if his father was still alive. Yet, the brothers had already told him that Jacob was alive. Indeed, the rest of Joseph's words make clear that he knew Jacob was alive. So what is the significance of his question "does my father still live?" We need to understand Joseph's dilemma.

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..