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Our parasha, Balak, contains one of the most famous pesukim in the Torah: “How goodly are your tents, O Yaakov, your dwelling places, O Yisrael!” (Bamidbar 24:5). Basing himself on Bava … more
Pirkei Avot (5:22) contrasts the virtues of Avraham with the vices of Bilam: Whoever possesses a generous eye, a humble spirit and a meek soul is a disciple of our father Avraham; but one who … more
Although President Trump has simply been continuing the policies of his predecessor, under whom there was nary a peep about child immigrants, the hysteria surrounding family separation at the border … more
Barely noticed outside the Balkans, one of the world’s most intractable diplomatic disputes was finally resolved this month. The parties are Greece and its northern neighbor Macedonia, once a … more
It seems as though Hamas is itching for another war. In recent days, no less than 45 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel. Two of them landed near a community center, and one just … more
One of the saddest “what might have been”s of the Holocaust was the story of Joel Brand. In the spring of 1944, the Jews of Poland, Western Europe, Belarus and the Ukraine were largely … more
One of the more profound lessons in our liturgy can be found in Tehillim 128: “See the good of Jerusalem all the days of your life.” Beyond Jerusalem itself, the verse serves as an … more
Newly released for your learning pleasure this summer, and especially appropriate for the upcoming Three Weeks, is “The Spirit of Torah: Penetrating Insights into The Chumash,” by Aaron … more
As a general rule, injecting emotion into policy debates is a mistake. Cold, rational logic remains the best path to understanding an issue, and anything that undermines that process is usually bound … more
One of the memorable scenes in “The Lives of Others” — an exemplary German movie whose plot centers on the Stasi secret police in the late, unlamented German Democratic Republic … more
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