Commentaries

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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Off the Pulpit: The door to your heart

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

Everyone knows that the conditions of life make a huge difference to its quality. If you are hungry, or sick, or sad over loss, it is much harder to feel that life is as good as when your needs are met. But we also know that...
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Person in the Parsha: VAYIKRA

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

“THE VICTORIOUS VICTM”

I always experience a sense of excitement when I begin a new book. I am convinced that most avid readers feel the same way. This Shabbat gives us an opportunity to experience that excitement as we begin...
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Off the Pulpit: Trash Heap and Treasure

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

When I ran a library I often had the experience of pulling a book from the shelf, out of idle curiosity, only to discover that no one had looked at that book for many years. Sometimes, as I began to leaf through it I discovered treasures....
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Person in the Parsha: VAYAKHEL-PEKUDEI

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

“THE LEADER, A PARTNER“

Would you ever consider Rembrandt a leader? How about Mozart, or Frank Lloyd Wright?

Each of them was certainly a leader in his own field, but none of them was an individual who had a public following, or...
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Person in the Parsha: Ki Tisa (Shabbat Parshat Parah)

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

THE HINDU PRINCESS AND THE GOLDEN CALF

She was a Hindu princess. She was one of the brightest students in my graduate school class. We studied psychology, and she went on to return to her country and become a psychotherapist of world renown....
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