Torah Columns
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The namesake of our parasha is Korach. It is not surprising, therefore, that most meforshim focus the majority of their exegetical efforts on this rabble rouser and his sycophants, Datan, Aviram … more
What exactly was wrong in the message of Korach and his fellow agitators — “You have gone too far! The whole community are holy, every one of them, and the L-rd is with them. Why … more
Very often, we think that if a person is especially spiritual, he cannot possibly be very practical. It is as if religious devotion and good common sense just don’t go together. My own … more
Some time ago, at a Rosh Chodesh prayer service at the Kotel, things got ugly. As they had been doing for nearly 25 years, a group of women from a range of Jewish backgrounds, known as the … more
It is a conversation I will remember forever. We were in the midst of basic tank training, enjoying a brief respite from the grueling pace of maneuvers and marches. The tanks were encamped … more
The haftorah for this week’s parashat, Beha’alotecha, begins with Zechariah’s famous words, “rani v’simchi bat Zion (Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion),” … more
I no longer remember which Israeli artist colony I was visiting. Perhaps Jaffa. But I will never forget the crude, almost primitive paintings, which were on exhibit. They were all very … more
There is a lovely moment in this week’s parsha, Beha’alotecha, that shows Moses at the height of his generosity as a leader. It comes after one of his deepest moments of despair. The … more
It was perhaps the single greatest collective failure of leadership in the Torah. Ten of the men Moses sent to spy out the land came back with a report calculated to demoralize the … more
This week, I begin by sharing two very personal experiences. The first occurred several decades ago when a group of Israeli scholars visiting Baltimore, where Chavi and I then resided, … more
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