My Child – Parshat Yitro 5773

I recently travelled with one of my children, which was a wonderful experience, giving us a lot of time together, without too many distractions.  As we were getting onto the plane, I handed our boarding passes to the stewardess, but it was not obvious that my son was standing with me, so she pointed to him and said, “Does he belong to you?”  My automatic response was, “Yes,” because I understood ...

Read More

Chapped Skin and Hand-cream – Parshas Beshalach 5773

It is winter and one of the things that I have been thinking of is chapped skin. Yes, it is true; my hands are very rough and chapped. I use a hand-cream on them, but, when I put on my tie I can feel the fabric catching on my skin. I cannot help thinking that one of the reasons my hands are chapped is because as a religious Jew I ...

Read More

Remembering the Exodus – Parshat Bo 5773

Parshat Bo Generally, we classify the commandments of the Torah into commandments that pertain to our relationship with G-d and commandments that pertain to our relationship with other people. There are some who had a third category, the commandments that govern the relationship between body and soul, in other relationship with the self. Generally, when we think about the commandment to remember the Exodus, we usually define it as being a a ...

Read More

Divine Destiny and Egyptian Guilt – Parshat Va’eira

Parshas Va'eira 5773 One of the famous questions that is asked regarding the Exodus from Egypt and the whole issue of the slavery of the Jews in Egypt is that, indeed G-d had actually told Abraham that his children would be slaves in a foreign land, he predicted the exile, He said the Jews would be enslaved. If so, the commentaries ask, then the Egyptians should not get punished, because they ...

Read More

Jewish Nationhood – Parshat Shemot 5773

Parashat Shmot In the book of Exodus, Shmot, the development of the descendants of Jacob from a family into a nation is documented. I have been asked numerous times is Judaism a religion or a peoplehood?  Most classic religions do not limit themselves to a particular nation. A religion is a system of belief and a system of action, a system of thought and of ethics without, generally, a nationalistic component. Judaism is, ...

Read More