Watch Your Tone – VaYiggash 5783

Those familiar with the chanting of the Torah – not just its study – are aware of a specialized notational system called “trope.” Trope allows for the cantillation of the text, modulation of voice over longer passages, and the proper accenting of words. The Talmud...

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The Hunger Problem – Mikketz 5783

  Apparent inconsistencies are fertile ground for Biblical commentary. Consider, for example, the words of Joseph in Genesis 42:16. In order to test the truthfulness of his brothers’ story, Joseph decides that nine of the ten shall remain imprisoned and one will...

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The Pits – VaYeshev 5783

Joseph cast into the pit (Genesis 37:24) is the transition point of the narrative between the original plan of ten of his brothers to kill him and the secret plan of Reuben to rescue him. But in the context of the Bible as a whole, the act of casting a victim into a...

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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...

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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),...

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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...

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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...

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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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