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Nitzavim 5780 – Choose Life

Nitzavim is Moses’ third and final discourse.  He pours his heart out to the Israelites one last time.  One senses the urgency of Moses’ message: “Hear me! This is life and death we are talking about. It is not just the natural cycle of being. What’s at stake is what it means to be alive […]

Ki Tavo 5780

In this parsha, we begin with the instructions upon entering the promised land for the Israelites to give an offering of the first fruits harvested as an expression of their gratitude for all the blessings from the life creating, life sustaining higher power, we call Hashem.  Gratitude for our blessings engenders humility.  Humility is cultivated […]

Ki Tetzei – 5780

Ki Tetzei means when you go. This portion is filled with laws and regulations to establish moral and legal order of the land the Israelites will enter. There are more mitzvot in this parshah than any others, 74 of the 613 commandments are found here. The parshah also includes acts of tzedakah.

The reading begins with […]

Shoftim – 5780 – The Truth about Leadership – Serving and Learning

This week’s Torah portion, Shoftim (Hebrew for “judges”), contains a series of laws directing the nascent Israelite community on how to establish a just society. The issues it covers include many that we still struggle with in our society today: setting up a fair and impartial legal system, making distinctions between murder and manslaughter, establishing […]

Re’eh 5780

In Parashat Re‘eh:

We learn that we have an obligation to care for others.

It is haShem’s Commandment to us!

With this obligation to God, Moses continues his second speech to the Israelites preparing them for entering the Promised Land. He speaks about values and behaviors, which lead to blessings; OR, to curses. So beware!!! Would you like […]

Eikev 5780

What is the scariest word in the English language?  This question was posed to me several years ago by a friend and colleague who often presented striking verbal and visual images.  His answer was “unless.” What might your answer be?

I’ve thought about this question off and on in the intervening years and though I’m not […]

Vaetchanan 5780

Life is filled with challenges and difficulties in getting along with others — family, friends, fellow workers. How can one successfully defuse a situation and find a creative solution?

Often a first reaction is: “He can’t do that to me. It’s not right. He should do the right thing!” We first look to blame others. There […]

Devarim 5780 Barbara Streisand Parody

In our Parshah, Moses began the first of three discourses to the children of Israel. He talks about the The Way We Were. It isn’t surprising that he started his farewell speech with the Memory of what he and the people have been through together.   He thought The Children Will Listen now.  He told them […]

Devarim 5780 – Before I Go

This is the first Parshah of the fifth book of the torah, Deuteronomy.  Because Israel’s primary duty to God is obedience of his laws, it is imperative that every Israelite be taught those laws. This is Moses’ main goal in Deuteronomy. Thirty-seven days before his passing, Moses begins his repetition of the Torah to the […]

Pinchas: Hero or Villian

Over the years I have listened to countless speeches criticizing our Biblical ancestors. How could Abraham sacrifice his beloved son Isaac? How could Moses abandon his role as father and husband to take on the leadership of the B’nai Yisroel? How could Jacob cheat his brother Esau and trick his father Isaac? How could Pinchas […]