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Chaim Walder

[Author’s note: Tragically, the prediction that I made in the penultimate paragraph has already become a reality with the suicide of one of the victims. No one need to attribute any prophetic powers to...

Vo’eira – History’s Foundation

It is interesting that the concept of hakaras hatov, “recognition of the good” that one has experienced, appears not only in the parsha, at the beginning of the Sefer Shemos saga whose apogee is...

Shemos – Against Your Grain

My rebbe, Rav Yaakov Weinberg, zt”l, often spoke of how each of the Jewish forefathers was challenged by Hashem to act in opposition to the very characteristic that defined him. Avraham, whose middah is...

Vayechi – A Singular Kindness

Chesed v’emes, “kindness and truth,” is the term Yaakov Avinu uses to describe what he is asking of Yosef when charging his son to not bury him in Mitzrayim (Beraishis 47:29). And Rashi famously...

Vayigash — Full Circle

The wagons (agalos) that Yosef sent back with his brothers to their father (Beraishis 45:27) were intended to convince Yaakov it was indeed Yosef who was the effective ruler of Mitzrayim. They were, as...

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The Four Rungs of Anti-Semitism

The public tolerance or acceptance of open Jew-hatred does not develop in an instant. An analysis of the descent into the abyss of anti-Semitism shows four distinct stages, or rungs. After the fourth is...

Letter to the NYT About Abortion

To the Editor: Judaism permits, even requires, abortion in limited cases, and responsible Jews cannot endorse measures that give a fetus the same protections as a born child. But, with regard to Sarah Seltzer’s...

Mikeitz – Small, Not Inconsequential

Yosef, who reaches the height of temporal power in this week’s parshah, was originally presented as unimpressive, even vain, the favorite of his father but the lesser, at least as they saw things, of...

A “Certain Sect of People”

People sometimes ask me if writing a letter to the editor of a major newspaper is worth the trouble, considering that having one’s letter chosen for publication is a long shot. I reply that...

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