Thursday, August 11th 2022   |

Commentaries

Person in the Parsha: Behar

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE

It is a lesson I first learned in a course I took on the skills of interviewing long ago. The instructor taught us that the way to really size up a candidate for a job is to determine how he uses his time. He taught us that one question designed to assist the interviewer...

Off the Pulpit: Building a Life

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

“What should I do with my life?” The question pursues us to the very end of our days. Whether we are fulfilling our destiny in this world is a constant challenge and provocation.

Judaism offers both models. There are moments and missions that require only we heed the voice: In ancient times, Abraham was chosen and resolute. In modern times, many visionaries felt that they had...

Person in the Parsha: Emor

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

INTROVERT/EXTROVERT

Although many of his adherents deny it, he definitely had an anti-Semitic streak and was at least, for a time, sympathetic to the Nazi cause. Yet he was one of the major psychological theorists of the 20th century, and I personally have found his insights into the human mind both fascinating and practical.

His name was Carl Jung, and he introduced two...

Off the Pulpit: Building a Life

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

“What should I do with my life?” The question pursues us to the very end of our days. Whether we are fulfilling our destiny in this world is a constant challenge and provocation.

Some believe each of us has a fixed, preset destiny and life is a search; others believe our purpose is created and life is a shaping

Judaism offers both models. There are moments...

Person in the Parsha: Kedoshim

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

I GET NO RESPECT!

I love visiting residences for senior citizens. For one thing, being around truly older people invariably helps me feel young by comparison.

Recently, I was a weekend guest scholar at such a residence. I dispensed with my prepared lectures and instead tried to engage the residents of the facility, not one of whom...

Off the Pulpit: What would you give?

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

The first mention of love in the Torah occurs when God tells Abraham to offer up Isaac, “whom you love.” (Gen. ch. 22)

Why should the Torah choose this improbable moment to mention love for the first time?For a moment let us set aside all the other questions involved in the very difficult story to ponder why love is introduced here.

All love has an element...

Off the Pulpit: To Hold with Open Arms

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

When the renowned Rabbi Milton Steinberg recovered following his heart attack, he walked out into the bright midday sun. He thought, “How precious – how careless.” Life is so precious, and we are so careless with it. How can we be so heedless when we know that everything must end? Perhaps we fear that if we care too much, the losses of life will be unbearable.

...

Off the Pulpit: Passover and Real Freedom

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

Ask most schoolchildren the meaning of Passover and they will say “freedom” or perhaps, “freedom from slavery.” They aren’t wrong, but the answer is incomplete in a very important way.

The famous Passover phrase, “let my people go,” is abbreviated. The full sentence is, “Let my people go that they may serve me.” The historian of Ideas, Isaiah Berlin, made a famous distinction between being “liberated...

Person in the Parsha: Pesach

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

IMAGINE THAT!

There was a time when I would only go out of my way to listen to speakers who were older and more experienced than I. Recently, however, I have changed my preferences and have begun to seek out speakers, rabbis and teachers, who are young and relatively inexperienced. I find their ideas fresh and often very much on the mark. After...

Off the Pulpit: We Were Poets and Were Young

By RABBI DAVID WOLPE

How do we make the past come alive to a generation that did not live through it? Each person wishes their stories to live in the echoes of later generations. The 19th century English poet Flecker, addressing a poet who will read him 1,000 years later, wrote: “O friend unseen, unborn, unknown/ Student of our sweet English tongue/ Read out my words at night, alone/ I...