Commentaries

Person in the Parsha: Vayishlach

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

NAMELESS

There is something special about meeting up with an old friend that one hasn’t seen in years. I recently had just such a special experience, when I spent a weekend in a community where a friend I hadn’t seen in ten years...
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Off the Pulpit: What’s in the forest?

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

In this week’s Torah reading, Jacob runs away from home and has a dream of angels ascending and descending a ladder. Upon waking he exclaims: “There is God in this place and I did not know it.”

The most common explanation of Jacob’s words is that...
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Person in the Parsha: Vayetze

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

WHAT’S IN A NAME?”

“Who am I?” This is the most powerful question that a person ever asks himself. For many of us, there are no easy answers to that question. We are uncertain of our own identities.

Social scientists believe that this...
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Thanksgiving

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

The first words we say in the morning are “Modeh ani”– I am grateful. When the Amida is repeated the prayer leader recites everything on behalf of the congregations save the modim passage — the prayer of thanks. Our lives are filled with blessings to recite...
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Person in the Parsha: Toledot

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

STRENGTH, PATIENCE AND HOPE

When I was a young boy, I had two distinct images of a strong man. One was of Charles Atlas. Do you remember him? If you do, you are no longer a youngster. Pictures of Charles Atlas appeared on...
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Off the Pulpit: Inner-directed Truth

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

Much of our kindness comes from fear — if I do not act this way another person or group of people will think less of me or be angry at me. This is not necessarily a bad motivation; we are social creatures and a ‘decent respect...
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Person in the Parsha: Chayei Sarah

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

SARAH, ESTHER AND THE SLEEPY STUDENTS

Jews live their lives within the framework of the Jewish calendar. At this time of year, we identify strongly with the narratives contained in the weekly Torah portions that we read in the synagogue. Our thoughts are...
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Off the Pulpit: Self-intoxiation

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

Noah is often compared unfavorably to Abraham. When told the world would be destroyed, Noah did not protest. When told evil people in Sodom would be destroyed, Abraham sought to save them. The Torah says that Noah walked ‘with God.’ Abraham is told to walk ‘before...
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Off the Pulpit: Be the Parent You Needed

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

“As a mother comforts her child so will I comfort you (Is. 66:13).” Images of God as a mother and as a father do not only teach us something about God; they teach us something essential about ourselves.

There is no more important resource to create...
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Person in the Parsha: Vayera

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

“HOSPITALITY BEFORE HEAVEN”

He was an old man, frail, tired, and bereaved. News of Hitler’s advancing army preoccupied him, and he was overwhelmed, if not broken, by the requests for advice he was receiving from hundreds of troubled Jews. Indeed, he may have...
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