Torah Columns
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Some pasukim of the Torah are “luckier” than others and their frequent repetition has enabled them to become active components in our tefilah experience. The beginning of our parasha, … more
It was advertised as a symposium at a major psychology conference. It was to be a discussion about memory and forgetfulness, but it turned out to be one of the most intense and instructive days … more
In March 2015 I had a public conversation at Yale with the university’s president, Peter Salovey. The occasion was the 60th anniversary of the Marshall Scholarships, created by the British … more
Is the manner in which we shake the four species random, or is there reason behind how we are supposed to wave them? One of Rabbi Zvi Dov Kanatopsky’s holiday sermons, in the book … more
A number of years ago, I struck up a friendship over Pesach with a Holocaust survivor, a former inmate of the Janowska work camp and Auschwitz. Towards the end … more
He was one of the greatest Talmud scholars of the last century, but outside of a small circle of disciples, he was never well-known. He was a tragic figure in many ways, and although few have … more
What do you do when you have achieved it all, when you have risen to whatever career heights fate or providence has in store for you? What do you do as age lengthens its shadow, the sun sinks, … more
Teshuvah, the process of returning to the path of Torah observance, is discussed throughout Rabbinic literature. In particular, Talmud Bavli, Yoma 86a-b presents a number of salient aspects of … more
For the parsha with the fewest number of verses in the Torah, Vayelech is quite busy. (Nitzavim has 10 more verses, but it takes up less space in the Torah.) Between warnings of bad that may … more
It was a nasty time in a nasty place: Ramallah, 1988, at Mutzav Sivan, next to the Arab “refugee” camps of Al Bireh and Al Amari during the first intifada. After a week of intense … more
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