Torah Columns
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In ancient times, if a person killed someone else accidentally, a trial could sentence the perpetrator to exile in a city of refuge, for a term that would last until the death of the kohen … more
We are now approaching the end of the Three Weeks, the saddest period of the Jewish year. It concludes with Tisha b’Av, commemorating the destruction of two Holy Temples. In an oft-quoted … more
Google the phrase “Europe’s Childless Leaders,” and you’ll find quite a few articles, written about a year ago, discussing the fact that a significant number of European heads … more
I still remember the moment, 30 years later. Rav Aharon Lichtenstein zt”l, our rosh yeshiva at Har Etzion, was giving his advanced Talmud lecture to about 60 students. As he looked up from … more
A while ago, I needed some dental work. As I sat in the waiting room, I noticed a rack of brochures, including one ominously entitled “Root Canal.” On the cover was a picture of an … more
We are a fortunate people. If one were to ask “Who is the greatest spiritual hero in Jewish history?” many names would come to mind. Some would suggest one of the Avot or Imahot. Others … more
Our parasha, Balak, contains one of the most famous pesukim in the Torah: “How goodly are your tents, O Yaakov, your dwelling places, O Yisrael!” (Bamidbar 24:5). Basing himself on Bava … more
Pirkei Avot (5:22) contrasts the virtues of Avraham with the vices of Bilam: Whoever possesses a generous eye, a humble spirit and a meek soul is a disciple of our father Avraham; but one who … more
One of the saddest “what might have been”s of the Holocaust was the story of Joel Brand. In the spring of 1944, the Jews of Poland, Western Europe, Belarus and the Ukraine were largely … more
One of the more profound lessons in our liturgy can be found in Tehillim 128: “See the good of Jerusalem all the days of your life.” Beyond Jerusalem itself, the verse serves as an … more
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