Commentaries

Person in the Parsha: Shelach

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

“THE BLUE ABOVE THE WHITE“

It may not sound like much of a story to you, but to me it was meaningful at many levels. I’ve heard the story three times now, each time from a different person. Each of...
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Person in the Parsha: BEH’ALOTCHA

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

A CANDLE OF GOD IS THE SOUL OF MAN

I no longer remember which Israeli artist colony I was visiting. Perhaps Jaffa. But I will never forget the crude, almost primitive paintings, which were on exhibit. They were all very different in color,...
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Person in the Parsha: NASO

By TZVI HERSH WEINREB

UNIFORMITY AND UNIQUENESS

One of the interesting paradoxes of human life is our tendency to copy one another and to try to “fit in” with friends and acquaintances, while simultaneously trying to be distinct from others, and to be our “own person.”

The pressures...
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Off the Pulpit: Lodestar Love

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

The Torah teaches us what to value, sometimes by faithfulness and sometimes by forsakenness.

Despite many trials and difficulties, Ruth remains faithful to Naomi and through that faith, reconstructs their lives and paves the way for the coming of the Messiah.

Samson should treasure his people...
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Off the Pulpit: Loving and Being Loved

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

What is the meaning of the ‘badeken’ — veiling the bride before the wedding ceremony? Some associate it with Rebecca, who upon meeting her future husband Isaac, placed a veil over her face. Others, perhaps more fancifully, associate it with Jacob and Leah, since Jacob intended...
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Person in the Parsha: BAMIDBAR

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

“MY TEACHER, MY FATHER”

It was November, 1938. Dark clouds were gathering over all of Europe, and particularly over the Jewish communities in countries like Poland and Lithuania. Although few foresaw the horrific extent of the Holocaust that lay ahead, everyone...
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Off the Pulpit: The Key to the Treasure

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

In his short story “Scheherazade,” novelist John Barth writes that “the key to the treasure is the treasure.”

I think about this sometimes when I listen to the Torah reader on Shabbat. The ability to read an ancient text seems as great a gift as the...
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Off the Pulpit: The Hidden Image

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

Do you know the legend of the angels and the Divine image? A group of angels heard that God intended to create human beings in God’s own likeness, and they thought human beings unworthy. So they plotted to hide the Image.

One proposed a mountaintop, but...
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Person in the Parsha: Yom Yerushalayim

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

“ZION AND JERUSALEM“

Historians have long distinguished between two types of great leaders. On the one hand, there are those who are gifted with mighty talents and unusually powerful personalities. But they are essentially inward people who are not particularly...
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Person in the Parsha: EMOR

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

“A LIFE OF SANCTIFICATION“

The conditions under which we live are many and varied. Some of us live in very comfortable, even idyllic, surroundings. Others struggle with diverse hardships, including poverty, disease, and the conditions of war. Our people have known...
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