Category: Religion

Ki Seitzei – Principal Parenting Pitfall

A rather stark contradiction seems to lie in how Chazal describe the judgment meted out to a ben sorer u’moreh, the boy who, at the tender age of 13, demonstrates indulgences and worse, and...

Parshas Shoftim – Waste Not

The belief that Jews are cheap has merit, though “frugal” would be the more perceptive word. Valuing everything, no matter how small or seemingly trivial, is a fundamental Jewish ideal. My parents rinsed and...

Vo’eschanan – No Mere Miracle

The centerpiece, if such a word can be used in the context of a parshah, of Vo’eschanan is generally assumed to be the Aseres Hadibros, the Decalogue. But I think that the even more...

Devarim – Starry, Starry Night

It’s rare for city dwellers to truly see the night sky. Only once, many years ago, driving on a moonless night in West Virginia, did I fully perceive the vast number of stars –...

Pinchas – Self Changes Everything

The law of kana’im pog’im bo – “the zealous ones can attack him” – that Pinchas acted upon to dispatch Zimri and Kozbi is a highly unusual, if not singular, one: If one poses...

No Tolerance for Hooliganism

My thoughts on the obnoxious actions of a group of young Orthodox Jews at the Robinson’s Arch area of the Western Wall, and some of the reactions to them, can be read here.

Balak – Life in Three Dimensions

I’m not entirely sure why eyepatches are often associated with dangerous characters like pirates. But the only character in the Torah who is described as having a single eye is Bilaam (Bamidbar 24:3, although,...

Chukas – Vocabulary and Venom

In the only instance of a pun in the Torah (isha from ish doesn’t count), we find Moshe forging the nachash hanechoses, the “snake of copper,” out of that particular material because nechoshes sounds...

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