Commentaries

Person in the Parsha: Tsav

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

“INCREASING GRATITUDE

There are certain phrases or expressions that many of us find hard to say. “I love you” is one of them. Another such phrase is “thank you”.

Although these words are difficult for us to pronounce, they each reflect powerful...
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Off the Pulpit: This Seder Is like the first

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

When we sit down to Passover seders, we read about the oppression in Egypt and try to imagine ourselves as enslaved. We often forget that we are celebrating a holiday first celebrated before liberation.

The very first night of Pesach the Israelites were anxious and scared and...
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Person in the Parsha: Vayikra

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

“FORGIVING FALLIBILITY”

“I was wrong. I am sorry. Please forgive me.” These are rare words indeed, but I heard them pronounced clearly by a woman I once worked for, and whom I still admire.

She was the superintendent of a...
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Off the Pulpit: Ancient Wisdom For A Modern Pandemic

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

The sin of the golden calf is very strange. The Israelites thought that Moses would be on the mountain for forty days and he did not come down until a day later, on the forty-first. In that single day they built and worshipped the calf.

Imagine the...
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Person in the Parsha: Vayakhel-Pikudei

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

ENDINGS AND BEGINNINGS

What is life all about?

One answer to that question is that life is all about beginnings and endings. Birth and death, marriage and divorce, Hopeful anticipation and inglorious defeat.

Most commonly, beginnings are bright. Even the pessimists among us...
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Off the Pulpit: Wary but joyful

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

In this unsettling time, it is helpful to remember that Judaism has faced contagions and dangers before, and our sages have reacted wisely. Perhaps best known is the decree of the great Rabbi Yisroel Salanter, who, during the cholera epidemic of 1848, not only permitted but...
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Person in the Parsha: Ki Tisa

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

FROM A HIGH ROOF

It is hard to sustain a spiritual high. Those of us who are committed to religious observance know that long periods of successful adherence to our standards are sometimes rudely interrupted by sudden, seemingly inexplicable lapses. Long-enduring spiritual experiences...
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Off the Pulpit: Learning from the animals

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

In Myanmar they tell a story about horses. The story goes that horses were originally created without teeth. The cow has teeth only on the bottom and water buffaloes only have teeth on the top. 

Originally they both had full sets of teeth. The poor horse came to the cow...
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Person in the Parsha: Tetzaveh

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

THE LEADER’S CLOTHING

Nowadays, all leaders look the same. Their typical garb is a dark business suit, a white or pale blue shirt, and a tie with a dash of color. They dress no differently from any other successful entrepreneur or professional. They...
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Person in the Parsha: Terumah

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

CHARITY

Scholars have long disagreed about what distinguishes human beings from the rest of the animal world. Some have argued that it is man’s intelligence and use of language that distinguishes him; hence the term Homo Sapiens. Others have maintained that it is...
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