Commentaries

Person in the Parsha: Ki Tisa

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

THE INEVITABLE COMEDOWN

It was over forty years ago, but I remember the feelings very well. They were overwhelming, and were not dispelled easily.

It was just after I had completed all of my course requirements and dissertation defense in the process of...
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Off the Pulpit: Advice for In-laws?

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

“Therefore a man will leave his father and mother and cling to his wife” teaches Genesis 2:24. I have always thought that verse was directed toward parents and even more, in-laws.

It is a familiar scenario. You raise children, feed them, care for their every need,...
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Person in the Parsha: Tetzaveh

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

“Clothes Make the Man”

My interest in the relationship between a person and his or her clothing goes back to my early days in graduate school. I was taking a course on human personality, under the tutelage of a remarkably insightful and erudite...
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Off the Pulpit: The First and the Last

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

The first mitzvah in the Torah is to be fruitful and multiply. The last mitzvah is to write a Sefer Torah. In some sense, these are the same mitzvah.

Judaism entrusts its adherents with the sacred task of transmission. Never a dominant faith in population,...
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Person in the Parsha: Terumah

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

ONE OF THE ANGELS

My grandmother was one of the angels. Like every Jewish grandmother, she loved each and every one of her grandchildren. As her oldest grandchild, I believed that I was surely her favorite. But I eventually discovered that my siblings...
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Off the Pulpit: Commanded not to covet?

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

How can we be commanded not to covet? After all, wanting something is natural. Yet the tenth commandment teaches us not to covet.

There are many answers in the Jewish tradition. One points to the idea that you only covet that which you believe you can...
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Person in the Parsha: Mishpatim

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

CAREERS

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” That was once the standard question to ask an eight- or nine-year-old when trying to make conversation with him or her. Somehow, every child had an answer, which ranged from “fireman” to...
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Off the Pulpit: Don’t Grovel!

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

In the movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” God comes out of the sky and growls at the prostrate knights: “Oh, don’t grovel – one thing I can’t stand is people groveling.”

Well, Monty Python may be British but their God sounds Jewish. When God...
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Off the Pulpit: Artists and Passengers

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

The medieval poet Moses Ibn Ezra used the following simile: We are like passengers on a ship, believing we are stationary when in fact we are headed toward a destination. Similarly, we do not realize that as we believe our lives to be steady state, we move...
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Person in the Parsha: Yitro

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

THE SEEKER

“This is the most shocking and astounding phrase in the entire Torah!” These were the words uttered, in Hebrew, by the aging and ailing rabbi who was visiting Baltimore for medical treatment, where I lived long ago. The rabbi was from...
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