Commentaries

Off the Pulpit: The new wilderness

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

Throughout the desert, the Israelites rebel, quarrel and fight. They demand meat, have fond (and false) memories of Egypt, seek to usurp the leadership of Moses and demonstrate repeated ingratitude to God. To a reader who comes to the story for the first time, it can often...
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Person in the Parsha: Pinchas

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB 

“WAKING UP TO A NEW WORLD”

These days, we all find ourselves living in a new and different world. It was just this past Purim that we sat together in shul, next to one another, listening to...
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Person in the Parsha: Chukat – Balak

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

“BALAAM AND DOSTOEVSKY”

Frustration. Disillusionment. But also insight and a lifelong intellectual perspective. That is how I would describe the experience I am about to share with you, dear reader.

It all started with Dostoevsky. That’s right,...
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Off the Pulpit: Fall, fail rise

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

David had the strength to defeat Goliath. Yet he had moments of despair, as expressed in the Psalms “I am worn out calling for help” (Ps. 69:3). Jeremiah was a prophet of legendary power and will, but he called out “Oh, that I had a refuge in the...
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Person in the Parsha: Korach

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

BETTER THEY LEARN FROM ME…

Conflict resolution is one of the most important tasks in human relations at every level. Open up any newspaper, and you will read of schoolchildren bullying each other, of married couples who are in bitter conflict, of political...
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Off the Pulpit: Against anger

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

In an angry age, may we say a word against anger?

“Every person who becomes angry, even if a sage, his wisdom departs from him. If he is a prophet, his prophecy departs from him. (Pes. 66b).”

There are many reasons to be angry in this...
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Person in the Parsha: Shelach

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

TWO TYPES OF PEOPLE

For the past several months, we have all been struggling with the terrible COVID-19 pandemic. We have heard our share of sad and tragic stories, and many have had to cope with very frightening events. But, on more than...
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Off the Pulpit: A hopeful note

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

“To gather the congregation you shall blow tekiah (summons) and not truah (alarm)” (Num. 10:7).

There are many ways to unite people. One is to frighten them. When pointed at a common enemy, people tend to gather in frightened solidarity. The Torah teaches in this week’s...
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Person in the Parsha: Beha’alotecha

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

 

“EARNING SELF-ESTEEM“ 

It was a lesson I learned long ago, when I was a high school classroom teacher. I was new at this line of work and found that my greatest challenge was to find ways...
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Off the Pulpit: A lesson from Rabbi Abbahu

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

How important was respect for our Sages? The Talmud discusses whether one can carry a lit candle on the Sabbath. In Talmudic times of course, without a candle the night was entirely dark. It relates that when Rabbi Abbahu was with Rabbi Joshua Ben Levi, he...
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