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What is the miracle of Hanukkah, anyway? The rabbis of our Talmud ask this question, and the ensuing discussion is a short one – a rarity for our long-winded predecessors. On the 25th day of Kislev, we commence eight days of celebration. more
Parashat Va-yetzei Hanukkah/Thanksgiving (Genesis 28:10 – 32:3)   Only a few weeks ago the Torah described how Isaac will be born to a man who would be 100 years old and a woman who would be 90. There can be no question as to the … more
Parashat Hayyei Sarah Genesis 23:1-25:1   In this week’s Torah portion, Abraham sends his slave to find a wife for Isaac. The dramatic scene unfolds as the slave finds Rebecca, described as tovat mar’eh me’od,  “an exceedingly … more
Parashat NoahGenesis 6:9-11:32 You may have heard the sound as Jewish professionals everywhere breathed a sigh of relief last week with the advent of Rosh Hodesh Heshvan.  That is because Heshvan, which follows Tishri, is the only Jewish … more
We’ve all said and done things we regret, words we wish we had never uttered, casual remarks intended or not, that harm a friend or family member, perhaps even an unintended impulsive physical blow to a sibling or a child. We wish afterward that … more
We have two terms to describe the season of the Jewish year that will peak in intensity within days. We call it the “High Holidays” and the “Days of Awe” (yamim nora’im). I much prefer the latter term, the Days of Awe – because Judaism … more
Our Torah portion contains a fascinating and fanciful description of the Moabite king Balak engaging a prophet, Balaam, to curse the Israelites. The image of God defending the people and turning Balaam’s curses into blessings is so significant … more
Our Torah portion deals with a fascinating group of people who rebelled against Moses in the wilderness.  They were led by Korach, who was the central figure in the uprising.  Where did he get his power and what did he use it for?  This was the … more
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