The Spark of Humanity

I recently read an article about the late, Irena Sendler, a Polish social worker, who at tremendous risk to herself organised the rescue of about 2500 Jewish children from the Nazis. She worked in the Warsaw Welfare Department during the Second World War, and she and her team of 20 used to go to the Warsaw Ghetto under the pretext of doing inspections of sanitary conditions.  She and her assistants ...

Read More

The Prophecy of Moses

  In this week’s Torah portion, Korach, the Torah relates the story of the rebellion of Korach against the leadership of Moses and Aaron.  I think this is a good opportunity to present the seventh of Maimonides’ thirteen principles of faith, which is the belief in the superiority and authority of the prophecy of Moses. Maimonides writes,  “Moses is the father of all prophets, both of those who preceded him and those ...

Read More

Parshat Korach and Agricultural Ethics – Korach 5774

The Torah portion of Korach ends with an extensive discussion of the various tithes (agricultural taxes) that the Torah requires. The basic idea is that the Land of Israel and its agricultural products are considered holy, therefore there are special laws that apply to them. The most well known is the obligation in Biblical and Temple times to separate a percentage of the crop and give it to the Cohanim ...

Read More