Torah Columns
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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
Our parasha, Shelach, begins with Moshe sending the tribal leaders to Eretz Yisrael to discover the beauty and bounty of the land. But what took place nearly brought Hashem’s plans for our … more
Many years ago, an elderly man approached me following a lecture on the topic of emunat chachamim (the faith we are meant to have in our sages). “Do you know why I am no longer … more
Although the rest of the world refers to the Five Books of Moses as the Pentateuch, traditional Jews refer to it as the Chumash, stressing that it is comprised of five very different … more
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