Torah Columns
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The public kriah (reading) of King Solomon’s Megillat Kohelet is one of the highlights of Shabbat Chol Hamoed Succot. According to many commentators, it is a précis of its author’s … more
Seconds, then minutes. The boat overturned in the murky waters of the Yarkon River, trapping the woman who had been energetically rowing moments before. Even the air bubbles had ceased. A small crowd … more
The Torah commands us twice to rejoice on Sukkot. For Shavuot it only says to rejoice one time. For Pesach “joy” is not mentioned at all (it’s difficult to rejoice when … more
Pay close attention to all the words through which I warn you today [and] instruct your children to keep all the words … more
The Torah reading on the first day of Rosh Hashana began at the point when Sara is remembered. The Talmud tells us in several places that Sara and Rachel and Chana were all remembered on Rosh … more
Our haftarah, for parsah Vayelech, contains the famous declaration of the prophet Hoshea, “Return, O Israel, unto the L-rd your G-d (“Shuvah Yisrael od Hashem Elokecha”), for you … more
I was recently given a copy of Dr. Hagi ben Artzi’s book on the Six Day War, Megillat Sheshet Hayamim, based on the IDF’s post-war analysis. It contained the following fascinating … more
Holocaust survivor Marlit Wendel shared her incredible story with my students … more
There are at least two reasons why Parshat Nitzavim is read before Rosh Hashana. First, it talks about teshuvah (repentance) (Biur Halacha 428: “9 Av”). Second, it serves as a buffer … more
Our parasha, Nitzavim, contains a celebrated narrative passage that focuses upon the concept of teshuvah (repentance): “And you will return to the L-rd, your G-d (v’shavta od Hashem … more
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