Wayne Allen

Humility – B’ha-alotekha 5782

As is typically the case, the nomination of cabinet members comes with a ceremony hosted by the American president in the White House rose garden.  In 1977, President Jimmy Carter took the podium to introduce four Jewish nominees, including Phillip Klutznick for the...

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Be an Example – Naso 5782

In the listing of the gifts presented by the leaders of each tribe on the day of the consecration of the Tabernacle, the gift of Netan-el ben Zuar of the tribe of Issakhar stands out from all the others.  What makes this gift exceptional is not its content, for all...

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Noise – Bekhukotai 5782

In their book Noise, authors Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony, and Cass R. Sunstein describe how the universal passion for judicial discretion fell out of favor in the 1970’s. For many years the popular idea was that maximizing judicial discretion allowed judges to...

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Rituals and Feelings – Emor 5782

The sacral calendar in chapter 23 of the Book of Leviticus includes mention of what is subsequently called Yom Kippur. It is intended to be a day of “affliction” as well as a day of cessation from labor (Lev. 23:27-28). But what, exactly, constitutes “affliction” goes...

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Actions Over Words- Passover 5782

In its discussion about preparing for Passover, the Talmud (Pesahim 4b) concludes that according to the Torah a verbal renunciation of all leaven in a Jew’s possession is all that is required in order to fulfill the Scriptural requirement to destroy all hametz....

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Words to Live By

What lies behind you and what lies ahead of you pales in comparison to what lies inside you.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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