D’var Torah

Communication – Toldot 5783

A divorce attorney began his intake interview with a female client by asking if she had any grounds. She replied: “About two acres.” “No,” said the lawyer. “I meant what is the foundation of this case?” She said: “Concrete, brick and mortar.” “No,” said the lawyer. “I...

read more

The Jewish Spark – Hayye Sarah 5783

The Torah portion centers on arrangements for the burial of Sarah. But it also ends with a narration of the death of Abraham (Genesis 25:9). Surprisingly, Yishmael who – along with his mother – was unceremoniously expelled from Abraham’s household (Genesis 21:14),...

read more

Wealth Over Life? – Vayera 5783

Although the concept was already known in the 1950’s, it was under the Reagan administration in the United States that the neutron bomb was developed and deployed. The “neutron bomb” is a version of an Enhanced Radiation Weapon: a nuclear device that emits many times...

read more

Responsibility – Noah 5783

In 2020 a scientific expedition was launched with the intent to study climate change on earth. It was awkwardly named MOSAIC – Multi-disciplinary-drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate. Sixty scientists and technicians supplemented the crew aboard an...

read more

Original Sin – Bereshit 5783

Through the teachings of Paul of Tarsus, nascent Christian theology conceived of the idea of original sin. While Origen – one of the early Church Fathers – held an aberrant view, namely, that the sin occurred before the creation of the world, standard Christian...

read more

No Slaves to Wealth – Sukkot 5783

Since its inception, Christianity included a significant stream of asceticism. John the Baptist is portrayed as a kind of hermit, content to live the life of a penniless vagabond. The Jesus of the Gospels does not exactly repudiate wealth, but neither does he promote...

read more

Self-Assurance – Nitzavim 5782

Before he dies, Moses assures the people Israel that “Surely the instruction which I enjoin upon you this day is not too baffling for you, nor is it beyond your reach” (Deuteronomy 30:11). He furthers assures them that “It is not in the heavens, that you should say,...

read more

Categories

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

Rabbi Allen on Twitter