Commentaries

Person in the Parsha: Chukat

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

“DISCOVERING OUR MORTALITY“

It was at a house of mourning, and she was saying something that I had heard many times before. In fact, I had said it myself when I was sitting shiva for my own mother.

She is a friend of...
Continue Reading ⇒

Off the Pulpit: George Washington and the Synagogue President

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

No country is perfect and no nation without crimes and flaws. Some few nations however, are defined by aspiration as well as achievements far greater than their shortcomings. America is founded on a great idea; Israel was founded on a great idea. Each struggles to realize...
Continue Reading ⇒

Person in the Parsha: Korach

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

CAN EVERYBODY BE SOMEBODY?

The Jewish community in the United States of America is pleased and proud to live in a democracy. What is a democracy? It is often described as a society in which all are equal. But this description falls short...
Continue Reading ⇒

Off the Pulpit: Deliberately Accidental

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

According to the Torah, when a farmer harvested his field he was obligated to leave one corner unharvested, so that the poor could harvest it themselves and keep the produce. When gathering sheaves together, any sheaves that she forgot or stalks that were dropped are left...
Continue Reading ⇒

Person in the Parsha: Shelach

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

“OF GRASSHOPPERS AND JEWISH PRIDE”

Just as there were six million victims, so were there at least six million stories.

One of those stories seems to have occurred many times, because I’ve heard it told by quite a few survivors. It is the...
Continue Reading ⇒

Off the Pulpit: Cellphones in the Torah?

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

“You shall not light fire in any of your dwellings on the Sabbath day” (Ex. 35:3). On the basis of this verse many Jewish authorities forbid the use of electricity, which is a kind of fire. Others question that prohibition, but in our day the use...
Continue Reading ⇒

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 to motivate the students. I...
Continue Reading ⇒

Off the Pulpit: Why atheists should pray

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

In some ways arguing for God’s existence is a fruitless exercise. Though I have engaged in many such public debates with well known atheists, I’m not sure anyone has been convinced one way or another. I am convinced however, that inability to appreciate the peaks of religious...
Continue Reading ⇒

Person in the Parsha: Naso

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

UNIFORMITY AND UNIQUENESS

One of the interesting paradoxes of human life is our tendency to copy one another and to try to “fit in” with friends and acquaintances, while simultaneously trying to be distinct from others, and to be our “own person.”

The...
Continue Reading ⇒

Off the Pulpit: The true wisdom

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

We often complain there is too little wisdom in the world. Actually there is too much. We have vast compendia of advice, sage writings from people who have endured much and thought deeply, legacies from civilizations worldwide that have sustained generations.

The problem is that even...
Continue Reading ⇒