Asking Why – Lekh Lekha 5782

The genius of the Torah is that the picture of the world it presents often correlates with current ideas. For instance, since the pioneering work of Donald Winnicott at the beginning of the twentieth century, psychologists have come to accept as true the notion that...

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Judaism and Science – Noah 5782

One of the towering figures in modern philosophy is Karl Popper. Born to Jewish parents in Vienna in 1902 he escaped the rise of Nazism by fleeing to New Zealand and eventually London, England. Popper is best known for his books The Logic of Scientific Discovery and...

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Who Has Lived? – Va-yehi 5781

Often the difference between great writing and good writing is word choice. Using just the right word can make the ordinary extraordinary. Harold Evans, in his latest book, Do I Make Myself Clear? describes how Franklin Delano Roosevelt agonized over each and every...

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Reciprocal Kindness – Mikketz 5781

A very cunning Joseph devises a plan that will result in bringing his younger brother and his aging father to Egypt. The first part of his plan is to plant a valuable object in the saddlebags of one of the brothers and then charge them with being thieves. Though the...

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A Proud Name – Va-yishlah 5781

Names are identifiers. Concealing a name gains a measure of security. Revealing a name is a measure of pride. Two stories illustrate this point: one from Greek mythology and one from the Torah.   In need of resupply for their continuing voyage, Odysseus convinces...

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Civility – Hayye Sarah 5781

As much as Rabbi Naftali Zvi Yehudah Berlin of Volozhin (1816-1893) was ensconced in what today would be called the Orthodox movement in Judaism, he was no obscurantist. In fact, his popular commentaries feature the application of scientific study to Jewish texts,...

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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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