Commentaries

Person in the Parsha: Miketz (Shabbat Chanukah)

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

TWO KINDS OF PEOPLE

“There are two kinds of people.” I am sure that you all have heard one variation or another of that theme.

We seem to have a well-ingrained habit of dividing people into two categories. For example, we say that...
Continue Reading ⇒

Off the Pulpit: End goals and goals without end

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

There is a problem with the word “toldot.” It usually means children, or perhaps generations. But when the Torah says “These are the toldot of Jacob: Joseph” (Genesis Ch. 37) it does not list all of Jacob’s children.

There are two different kinds of life goals....
Continue Reading ⇒

Person in the Parsha: Vayeshev

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

THE WISDOM OF THE EAST

There are jokes which are very funny on the surface, but which, upon reflection, can be quite painful and disturbing.

One of them, which was told frequently twenty years ago or more, concerns a matronly woman from the...
Continue Reading ⇒

Off the Pulpit: The Right Kind of Silence

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

The Talmud tells the story of Rav Safra, who was offered a price for some goods but could not respond as he was in the middle of prayers. The buyer kept upping the price. When Rav Safra concluded, he told the buyer he would accept the...
Continue Reading ⇒

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...
Continue Reading ⇒

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...
Continue Reading ⇒

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...
Continue Reading ⇒

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...
Continue Reading ⇒

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...
Continue Reading ⇒

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...
Continue Reading ⇒