Commentaries

Person in the Parsha: VAYIGASH

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

“FORGIVENESS: A JEWISH VALUE”

This has got to be one of the oldest “rabbi” jokes in the entire repertoire of American Jewish humor.

It tells us of the young rabbi, fresh from rabbinical school, who addresses his first several sermons...
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Off the Pulpit: Welcoming The Stranger

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

Billy Wilder, legendary Hollywood writer and director of such classics as “Sunset Boulevard” and “Some Like it Hot” was a refugee who left Germany for Paris as the Nazi party gained power.

He made it briefly to America but had to leave and reapply. Wilder told...
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Off the Pulpit: Does God Take Checks?

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

We live in an age of unprecedented wealth. Do we, therefore, live in an age of unprecedented charity?

Many studies have demonstrated that paradoxically, rich people give a much lower percentage of their income to charity than poor people. As wealth accumulates, giving does not usually...
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Person in the Parsha: MIKETZ (Shabbat Chunukah)

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

JOSEPH, CHANUKAH AND WISDOM

Wisdom is the rarest of all important human qualities. Observers of the contemporary state of affairs often remark that wisdom, which is especially necessary in this day and age, is now particularly lacking.

Yet, at...
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Person in the Parsha: VAYASHEV

By TZVI HERSH WEINREB

MAN PLANS, GOD LAUGHS

You thought your life would run smoothly, right? We all do. Then, something comes off, tragic or happy, which proves to us that life is not smooth at all, and probably is not supposed to be.

Somehow, each of us...
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Off the Pulpit: Biblical Karma

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

Jacob fools his father Isaac, disguising himself as Esau and taking the blessing.

How does the Torah itself regard his action? The subtle critique can be found later on in Jacob’s story. He works for seven years to marry Laban’s daughter Rachel. At the end of...
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Person in the Parsha: VAYISHALAH

 

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

UNHERALDED HEROES”

You don’t hear much about them, and sometimes you don’t even know their names. But they are the true heroes and heroines in our lives and in our times.

As I hope to demonstrate,...
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Off the Pulpit: Methuselah and Me

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

Yes, I also read the health studies that advise eating this and avoiding that. I don’t always adhere to the recommendations but I follow them as if, well, as if my life depended on it.

At the same time, I know that you cannot savor life...
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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.

...
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Off the Pulpit: The First Teacher

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

“From the child of five to myself is but a step,” wrote Leo Tolstoy. “But from the new-born baby to the child of five is an astonishing distance.”

Modern research validates Tolstoy’s insight. The first years are formative. For most of history, the teacher in those...
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