Torah Columns
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Fear and trembling — those have been our primary religious emotions during the Yamim Nora’im, the Days of Awe when, facing divine judgment, we felt vulnerable, insecure, and anxious about … more
T he Festival of Sukkot contains two major mitzvot — dwelling in the Succah on the night of the 15th of Tishrei, and the taking of the Arba’at HaMinim. These acts are in the halachic … more
Seconds, then minutes. The boat overturned in the murky waters of the Yarkon River, trapping the woman who had been energetically rowing moments before. Even the air bubbles had ceased. A small … more
Among the festivals that give rhythm and structure to the Jewish year, Sukkot is unusual, unique. A detail which had a significant influence on Jewish liturgy appears in the book of Deuteronomy: … more
This Sabbath is Shabbat Shuvah, when our spiritual efforts are focused on returning to Hashem. The Rambam’s Hilchot Teshuvah is one of the most celebrated works on teshuvah. Therein, he notes … more
How does the poet get started on the process of writing a poem, or the songwriter as he or sge sets about composing a song? Do they look at the environment and seek inspiration from things external? … more
With parashat Ha’azinu, we climb to one of the peaks of Jewish spirituality. For a month Moses had taught the people. He had told them their history and destiny, and the laws that would make … more
To those who fully open themselves to it, Yom Kippur is a life-transforming experience. It tells us that G-d, who created the universe in love and forgiveness, reaches out to us in love and … more
This column originally appeared in 2002. If we seek to understand what has made Judaism so remarkable a faith for so long, look at the biblical and prophetic readings for Rosh Hashana. The … more
Sometimes even the corniest of old jokes has a profound lesson to teach us. “How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb?” In case you haven’t already heard … more
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