Commentaries

Off the Pulpit: Special Edition for Shabbat

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

Many tales are told of chasidic wonder workers who could magically see events far away. Today of course technology enables what was once a miracle.

The merit of the rabbis was that seeing far did not preclude seeing close. When we are so fixated at the...
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Off the Pulpit: Why Should Secular Jews Give to Jewish Causes?

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

Recently I was asked what I would say to a secular Jew who wondered why he should donate to Jewish causes. This was my answer:

If you travel throughout the United States, indeed throughout the world, you will see that Jews have given vast sums to...
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Person in the Parsha: ACHAREI MOT-KEDOSHIM

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

“IT’S ALL COMMENTARY”

I am proud of my large library of Jewish books.

My collection, which my wife half-jokingly refers to as my addiction, began on my 11th birthday with a gift from my maternal grandparents, may they...
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Person in the Parsha: Tazria-Metzora

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINBEB

“GOING AT IT ALONE“

“No man is an island.” “It takes a village.” These are just some of the clichés that are used to convey the importance of social groups, of the realization that people cannot “go at it alone.”

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Off the Pulpit: 3 Extraordinary Lives: Kirk Douglas, Abe Zarem, & Max Webb

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

The rabbis teach that Abraham was the first who had the merit of looking old. Notice the word — “merit.” It was considered, by our tradition, a good thing; it meant you had lived and learned. We compliment people by saying, “You look so young!” Accomplishment...
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Off the Pulpit: Becoming Who You Are

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

Many Hasidic passages teach that true worship of God comes from inside oneself. Rabbi Bunim commenting on a passage in the Talmud, said that if one wishes to be stringent solely because his father was stringent, he is not allowed to do so. Authenticity and not...
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Person in the Parsha: SHEMINI

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

AND AARON WAS SILENT

He was an old man, and in many ways came from a very different world than I. And yet he taught me more than anyone else ever did. One of the things he taught me was that...
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Off the Pulpit: Why Elijah – And when?

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE Why do we open the door for Elijah at the Passover Seder? In the Bible, Elijah does not die (he goes up to heaven in a chariot – see Kings II, Chapter 2). Therefore, he is the prophet our tradition assumes will return to announce the...
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Off the Pulpit: Soul Food

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

Is it strange to say that Jews don’t read the Bible? We study the Torah, of course, but for many that is an enterprise confined to synagogue. So we read the five books, and the haftaroth, which are passages from the historical and prophetic writings. But even...
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Person in the Parsha: TZAV (Shabbat HaGadol)

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

PATIENCE, NOT PROCRASTINATION

I am not a big fan of the two- or three-word mottos which often appear on bumper stickers. I must confess, though, that I once succumbed to the temptation of hanging such a motto on my office door. It was...
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