Torah Columns
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The mitzvah of dwelling in the sukkah initially appears to be quite straightforward. By way of illustration, the Rambam formulates the obligation in this manner: “What is the mitzvah of … more
There was once a king who had two advisers. The advisers had a luxurious life as long as they bowed to the whims of the king, which were many. He made unreasonable demands. He was harsh in his … more
Are human beings basically animals who need to be tamed by the forces of civilization? Or are humans angelic beings who sometimes get dragged down by the external forces of nature? Thomas … more
Our parasha, Re’eh, contains the obligation to physically destroy all objects used for idol worship: “You shall tear down their altars, smash their monuments, burn their idolatrous … more
The rules for appointing a king are followed by a few personal restrictions the Torah places on him: he must be an observant Jew with all that entails, and he may not have an excess of horses, … more
Our parasha, Shoftim, contains the celebrated verse, “Justice, justice shall you pursue, [in order] that you may live and possess the land the L-rd, your G-d, is giving you.” (Devarim … more
Each generation of Jewish parents seems to face the same dilemma. We teach our children that all humans are created in the image of G-d; to respect and assist others; that love of G-d means love … more
I was at a wedding in LA when the family of the groom decided to daven mincha. Someone immediately asked, “Which way is east?” I was struck by the fact that in Israel, no one … more
There’s an old saying “Seeing is Believing.” But while many idioms have truth, this one is factually inaccurate. I’ve watched many a magic trick, both live and recorded. I … more
In this week’s parsha, Ki Tetze, the last two verses of Chapter 21 seem to describe a clear case. The corpse of a person executed by the court is to be hanged from a tree for a short period of … more
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