Parshas Chukas – Snake Eyes

The bizarre image (Bamidbar 21:9) of our ancestors gazing at a graven image — a copper representation of a snake — to end a snake-plague born of their complaining about the mon, is contextualized...

Chagrined by AOC’s Reaction

I have defended Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on a number of occasions in several public venues.  But I was chagrined by her reaction to the recent Hamas/Israel war, and express why here.

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The New Jew

No big deal, they said. The new Pew Report offered few surprises. The 2013 report showed an American Jewish community looking like a patient with multiple systems failure; the current report showed vital signs...

Parshas Naso- An Opportunity, Not an Ordeal

I cringe when I read someone’s portrayal of the law of Sotah ritual as some sort of “trial by ordeal.” That phrase conjures images like the 17th century Salem witch trials, when Puritans invoked...

Happy Anniversary

In contrast to Pesach’s matzos and Sukkos’ sukkos and arba minim, Shavuos is unique among the Shalosh Regalim for its lack of any positive ritual-commandment. That may have to do with the holiday’s association...

Parshas Bamidbar – Desert and Direction

The sefer of Bamidbar (or, to be pedantic, B’midar) begins with the word Vayidaber; and the Talmud Yerushalmi, I’ve seen it cited, even calls the sefer by that latter word. Both words, as it...

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From Yom Yerushalayim to Meron

As a woman in a shiur I gave on Shabbos put it, Yom Yerushalayim, sadly, has become the exclusive province of the Dati Leumi community here in Israel. Secular Jews have lost interest; charedim...

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