Torah Columns
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What do you say to your successor? What advice do you give them? Vayelech is the place to look for the answer, because it is here that Moses finally handed the reins over to Joshua, and he and … more
It was a nasty time in a nasty place: Ramallah, 1988, at Mutzav Sivan, next to the Arab “refugee” camps of Al Bireh and Al Amari during the first intifada. After a week of intense … more
For the parsha with the fewest number of verses in the Torah, Vayelech is quite busy. (Nitzavim has 10 more verses, but it takes up less space in the Torah.) Between warnings of bad that may … more
This Shabbat Shuvah is named after the stirring words of Hoshea that are found in our haftarah: Return, O Israel (Shuvah Yisrael), to the L-rd your G-d, for you have stumbled in your iniquity. … more
Only now, reaching parashat Nitzavim, can we begin to get a sense of the vast, world-changing project at the heart of the Divine-human encounter that took place in the lifetime of Moses and the birth … more
We have all been brought up to believe in the importance of progress. For the past several centuries, the goal of philosophy, religion, culture, and certainly science has been to develop ideas … more
There is a mystical idea which suggests that hidden within every fire of destruction is the spark of redemption. Such, for example, was the case on Aug. 3, 1492, which was also the Ninth of … more
Parashat Nitzavim contains a celebrated pasuk that is quite timely for these final days before Rosh Hashana: This day, I call upon the heaven and the earth as witnesses [that I have warned] … more
I remember the first Mishnah I ever learned, and it wasn’t in a classroom. The synagogue we attended when I was five years old had a strict decorum, and I recall the challenges this … more
The concluding section of our parasha, Ki Tavo, begins with an appeal for national reminiscence: And Moshe called all of Israel and said to them, “You have seen all that the L-rd did … more
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