Ki Tetze - weekly Torah portion

The attempt to pursue justice and achieve justice is a corner stone of Judaism. In this week’s portion of the Torah these are presented to us in multiple ways. For example, we learn this week, “You shall not have in your bag differing weights, a large and a small. You shall not have in your house differing measures, a large and a small. You shall have a full and just weight; you shall have a full and just measure… For everyone who does these things, everyone who acts unjustly is an abomination to the Lord your God.” It is important to take notice to what is said here. It is not a comparison between the weights or the measures, be it big or small, either one is improper. A person wanting to d

Shoftim - weekly Torah portion

Just over a week ago a huge billboard calling “A Jew Doesn’t Expel a Jew.” appeared on the Ayalon highway, also known as highway 20, a traffic congested artery that crosses Tel Aviv from north to south, just near the Azrieli Towers. Many people wondered why these words have suddenly resurfaced remembering that they were used at this time of the year twelve years ago during the Israeli departure from the Gaza strip. The answer popped up when the signage on the billboard was updated a few days later, “A Jew Doesn’t Expel a Jew. From the Kotel.” The modern Menorah logo of the Israel Reform Movement and its name, prominently visible. I have no doubt whatsoever that many have felt and will feel u

Re'eh - weekly Torah portion

It is only in very rare cases that we, as human beings, do not have choices. Admittedly, at times our choices are between bad and worse, however, at other times it is between good and excellent. Many times when we are faced with a complex situation we find it difficult to break that situation down to its basic elements and refrain from making a decision. We hope that the gushing river will somehow help us get to a safe place. It is possible that something like that will happen, even if not likely, and to some extent there is even a choice being made there, but there is also a major concession. In this week’s portion of the Torah this issue is simply put before the People of Israel, “See, I a

eikev - weekly Torah portion

"For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; a land where you will eat food without scarcity, in which you will not lack anything; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. When you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you." These are the words by which Moses describes, in this week’s portion of the Torah, the land into which the Israelites are about to enter. There will be an opportunity to eat, and

Vaetchanen - weekly Torah portion

In this week’s portion of the Torah we read, “Then Moses summoned all Israel and said to them: ‘Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the ordinances which I am speaking today in your hearing, that you may learn them and observe them carefully.’” We learn here several things the first of which is that Moses calls upon “all Israel” and therefore he talks to the entire People, women and men, old and young. When the Torah refers to men alone it knows how to do so explicitly and clearly but here, all are called to listen to Moses. We also find here three demands; a demand to hear, a demand to learn and a demand to observe. We must realize that this is exactly the opposite to the נעשה ונשמע (we shall d

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