Torah Columns
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Though this week’s parsha begins with a story of Yisro, its chronological relationship with the rest of the Exodus narrative is debated by the commentaries. If we ignore this story for a … more
The penultimate pasuk of our parasha, Yitro, focuses on the law of constructing an altar made of stone: “And when you make for Me an altar of stones, you shall not build them of hewn stones, … more
There is a story told by Rav Ephraim Oshry, one of the last rabbis of the Kovno Ghetto, in his monumental work of Holocaust responsum, Mima’amakim. When the Nazis arrived in the small … more
After Moshe followed the instructions that made the waters of Marah drinkable, we are told, “There he taught them ‘chok u’mishpat’ and there he tested them.” The simple … more
One of the many beautiful tefilot that we recite on Shabbat and Yom Tov is Nishmat Kol Chai.  I find the following passage to be particularly striking in its spiritual depth and … more
In 2001 over Rosh Hashanah, Israel was turned upside down. Prime Minister Ehud Barak had offered Yasser Arafat a chance to end the Palestinian conflict in exchange for 97 percent of Judea and Samaria … more
When one reads the opening of Parshat Bo, it is hard to ignore the question of who has the bigger ego — Pharaoh or G-d? Over the course of the previous seven plagues, Pharaoh has actually … more
Rosh Chodesh is one of the topics in this week’s Torah reading, parsha Bo: “The L-rd spoke to Moses and to Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying: ‘This month shall be to you (Hachodesh … more
Did you know that the success of the Entebbe mission was born of a question? In July 1976, an Air France airliner was hijacked and taken to the Entebbe airport in Uganda. After separating Israelis … more
Ask a large enough group of Israelis who they think of when asked to think of a Jewish leader, and someone will come up with Menachem Begin. A leader of the Jewish underground Irgun in pre-state … more
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