As was then today too we absolutely need the comforting words of the prophet Isiah on this Shabbat also known as Shabbat Nakhmu, the Shabbat that begins a sequence of seven prophecies that suggest hope and provide comfort. “‘Comfort, O comfort My people,’ says your God...

Forty years have come and gone and in just a few weeks the journey into the Promised Land will commence. Moses stands up before the crowd and begins his summary of the journey. We start our readings from the book of Deuteronomy, the book which summarizes our journey of...

This week we conclude the reading of the book of Numbers, Bamidbar, reading two portions, Matot and Masaei. The long journey towards the Promised Land is nearing its end. The Haftarah is from Jeremiah where he echoes the pondering of our prophets, “What injustice did y...

Leaders are rarely open to listen to words of criticism. Even more so they dislike those who are critical of them and actually take action about it. They tend to lose control over themselves once such a critic is also successful and able to make what is important to th...

“My people, remember now What Balak king of Moab counseled And what Balaam son of Beor answered him, And from Shittim to Gilgal, So that you might know the righteous acts of the Lord. With what shall I come to the Lord And bow myself before the God on high? Shall I com...

Making promising is pretty easy, making good on one’s promises is an entirely different business. We learn about one such promise made by Jephthah on the eve of war that we read about in the Haftarah of this week from the book of Judges. “Jephthah made a vow to the Lor...

“As he finished speaking all these words, the ground that was under them split open; and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the men who belonged to Korah with their possessions. So they and all that belonged to them went dow...

What a difference forty years can make and certainly two different stories of espionage. The first incident we read about in this week’s portion of the Torah, God commands Moses, “Send out for yourself men so that they may spy out the land of Canaan, which I am going t...

Our overseas friends reading or listening to my sermon this Shabbat may be wondering what is going on here. From their perspective we are rushing the Torah reading and getting ahead of ourselves. We are reading today the portion of BeHa’alotecha while they are still in...

The Israelites are now ready to move. There are many people there and it is necessary to plan its defense and therefore a headcount commences. Counted are “every male, head by head from twenty years old and upward, whoever is able to go out to war in Israel, you and Aa...

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