Commentaries

Off the Pulpit: An Ancient Right To Privacy

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

In an internet age, there is a great deal of discussion about the right to privacy.

The Torah already contains a provision for privacy – a creditor may not enter a debtor’s home even to fetch what is due to him (Deut. 24:10-11). The prohibition on entering...
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Off the Pulpit: A Sage on Freedom of Speech

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

One of the characteristics of great sages is that they rise above their times and express truths despite the prevailing climate of opposing opinion. The following was written in the 16th century:

“Even if his words are spoken and directed against faith and religion, do not...
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Person in the Parsha: Zachor

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

AN ENEMY ON MANY FRONTS

Three very different individuals inspired me to write this week’s column. One was a newspaper editor who “dared” to censor a sentence in one of my submissions. The other was a very wise sage whose pre-Purim lecture I...
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Person in the Parsha: Pekudei

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

“THE WAY OF THE WORLD“

Many people have a misconception about Judaism that impedes their ability to take our religion seriously and to commit to living the Jewish way of life. Let me tell you about one such person and about...
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Off the Pulpit: The Greatest Beauty

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

There is a poignant story of Reb Aryeh Levin, a saintly and renowned Rabbi of Jerusalem who passed away in 1969. Once before the holiday of Succot, when people were busily seeking the perfect etrog (the fruit used for the Succot celebration) Reb Aryeh was seen...
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Person in the Parsha: Vayakhel

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

“CULTURE, COUNTER-CULTURE AND CREATIVITY“

It was quite a few years ago that I spent almost every Sunday afternoon in one of the great museums of the city in which my family then lived. I no longer remember what first stimulated my...
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Off the Pulpit: Beyond the Fire

By DAVID WOLPE

“When God saw that Moses turned aside to look, God called out of the bush (Exodus 3:4)” Why? What was so special about Moses turning aside to look that only then did God call out? The rabbis teach that the bush had been burning since the beginning...
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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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