Commentaries

Off the Pulpit: The Grandparent’s Blessing

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

A grandfather solves the most troubling problem of the first book of the Torah.

From the beginning, there have been clashes between brothers: Cain and Able, Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau, Joseph and his brothers. Sometimes the clashes are sparked by parents, at...
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Person in the Parsha: Vayigash

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

“RECONCILIATION”

I have known more than my share of families that are torn by discord. I think most of us, perhaps even all of us, are familiar with families in which brothers and sisters have not spoken to each other in...
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Off the Pulpit: Mrs. Maccabee

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

Chanukah is made memorable largely by the latkes, the dreidel, the songs and the jelly donuts – the atmosphere of the holiday. Distinguished from the Chanukiah that we light in the window, these are a matter of custom, not of law. Much of Judaism relies on...
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Person in the Parsha: Chanukah

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINEB

A LITTLE BIT OF LIGHT

There is so much to say about Chanukah. One hardly knows where to begin.

First of all, there is the history. It is recorded in the Talmud, but the historical details contained there are scant: a...
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Off the Pulpit: ‘NO’ In Thunder

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

When I speak to high school students, I tell them that the only word that gives you freedom is ‘no.’ The one who cannot say ‘no’ is a slave.

Both boys and girls (especially the latter) are socialized to believe they are responsible for the other...
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Person in the Parsha: Vayashev

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

When I recall the great teachers I was blessed with over the course of my lifetime, I realize that one thing comes to mind: they were a diverse group. This eclectic group included the gentle man who introduced me to the study of Chumash, Bible,...
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Off the Pulpit: More Polarized Than Ever?

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

“Remember the days of old; consider the years of past generations. Ask your father, and he will tell you, your elders, and they will teach you.” (Deut. 32:7). We need the historical awareness the Torah recommends.

Are we really “more polarized than ever?” There was a...
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Person in the Parsha: Vayishlach

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

A LION OR A BEAR?

A friend recently commented to me that nowadays, we are not only “multi-tasked,” but we also have “multi-problems.” When simultaneously beset by a number of problems, he continued, it becomes necessary to prioritize those problems and to...
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Off the Pulpit: Why did he do that?

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

I would like to speak in favor of the most endangered resource in our public lives: the assumption of good intentions.

Throughout my rabbinate I have found myself in disputes, sometimes as a moderator and sometimes as a party to the dispute. They have ranged from...
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Person in the Parsha: Vayishlach

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

A LION OR A BEAR?

A friend recently commented to me that nowadays, we are not only “multi-tasked,” but we also have “multi-problems.” When simultaneously beset by a number of problems, he continued, it becomes necessary to prioritize those problems and to decide...
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