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Who could be surprised by the story that grabbed the attention of the Jewish world this past weekend? When Felix Klein, Germany’s first Commissioner for Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight … more
The first three words of our parasha, Bechuchotai, present a significant interpretative challenge. The phrase, “Im bechuchotai teleichu” could readily be translated, “if you … more
The famous 19th century blood libel in Russia that came to be known as the Beilis Trial was much more than the trial of just one man. Judaism as a whole stood accused, and its faithful defenders … more
This week we read the Tochacha, the terrifying curses that happen to Israel if it betrays its Divine mission. If Israel loses its way spiritually, say the curses, it will lose physically, … more
The last verse of the Tochacha (Rebuke) of Chapter 26 in Bechukotai says the following: “These are the decrees, laws and codes that G-d set between Himself and the Israelites at Mount Sinai … more
What is the Jewish stance on cursing and curse words? Researchers have found that about 0.7 percent of a typical American’s speech is made up of swear words. … more
On Shavuot, we commemorate the pact of spiritual loyalty that G-d and the Jewish people pledged to each other at Mount Sinai. Yet a plain reading of the biblical text shows us that not long after the … more
Blueberries are here, and so are the first baby lettuces of the season. We’ve had so much rain this spring that the lettuces may even be full grown by now. These two arrivals to the … more
Our parasha, Behar, begins with the famous words: “And the L-rd spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, saying” (Vayikra 25:1). They are immediately followed by a verse focusing on the mitzvah … more
There are, it is sometimes said, no controlled experiments in history. Every society, every age, and every set of circumstances is unique. Yet this is not quite true. The history of the past … more
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