Commentaries

Person in the Parsha: KI TEITZEH

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

WORDS CAN NEVER HURT ME?

For many of us, the first pieces of wisdom which we learned were from nursery rhymes and schoolyard jingles. Sometimes these childish lessons had value, but more often they were off the mark and had the effect of...
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Person in the Parsha: SHOFTIM

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

JUSTICE, JUSTICE

Like any good grandparent, I have seen my share of little-league baseball games. One summer, I sat through an all-day tournament of four five-inning games. Not too excited about what was happening on the playing field, I found myself slipping into...
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Off the Pulpit: Needs wheels

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

From George Prochnik’s award winning biography of Stefan Zweig, “The Impossible Exile”:

“One day in the 1920’s when Zweig happened to be traveling to Germany with Otto Zarek, the two men stopped off to visit an exhibition of antique furniture at a museum in Munich. After...
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Person in the Parsha: RE’EH

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

SOCIALISM: IS IT GOOD FOR THE POOR?

I must begin with a disclaimer. I am not an economist. Admittedly, there was a time early in my college days when I considered majoring in economics. My father, may he rest...
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Off the Pulpit: Two rights can make a wrong

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

Most ethical dilemmas, like most tragedies, are not a conflict of right and wrong but a conflict of rights. People want different, competing and sometimes worthy things that cannot coexist.

The authors of the Federalist papers knew this well. When Madison writes that, “the causes of...
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Person in the Parsha: EKEV

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

DISCIPLINE AND SUFFERING

As a parent, grandparent, and psychologist, I am often considered to be something of an expert on parenting and child-rearing. In that capacity, I have frequently been asked to review or give an opinion about any of the...
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Off the Pulpit: Responsibilities and dreams

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

This past week all across the world Jews mourned the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. And they blamed themselves.

Yes, there are passages in Jewish literature that excoriate the nations who carried out the destruction. There are even passages that express anger at God. But primarily the...
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Parsha VA’ETCHANAN (Shabbat Nachamu)

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

SHATTERED TABLETS

We were young then. They were old—in our eyes, very old. We were the students, barely what to do with our lives.

They were the elderly residents of an institution just across the street from our study hall. It...
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Off the Pulpit: Direct your heart to heaven

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

From the Talmud: A favorite saying of the rabbis of Yavneh was: “I am God’s creature and my fellow is God’s creature. My work is in the town and his work is in the country. I rise early for my work and he rises early for...
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Off the Pulpit: Gifted, but Good?

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

We are a society geared toward the gifted. We have programs to enhance people’s natural endowments, special training and tutoring, early identification of people with talent or intelligence. Of course it makes sense; innovators and artists and thinkers should be given opportunities to grow their gifts....
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