Economics of Justice – Parshat Miketz 2017

There is nothing more inspiring to Americans than a “rags to riches” story, a story that for many exemplifies the American Dream. We get teary-eyed and goosebumps from hearing about a man who grew up in poverty in the projects or in a small Southern town and rose through talent, luck, and hard work to become … Continue reading Economics of Justice – Parshat Miketz 2017

Settling the Land – Parshat Vayeishev 2017

It’s a hard thing to imagine without having experienced it yourself. A city that stops on Shabbos, a home of more than half a million people where there is a palpable feeling that today is different. When I think about what I’m missing by living here in the Diaspora, outside our homeland, 6,000 miles from the site … Continue reading Settling the Land – Parshat Vayeishev 2017

The Angels On Our Shoulders – Parshat Vayishlach 2017

When we think of angels, we often associate them with their roles in שמים, in the Heavens, serving G-d, singing His praises, doing his will. They are part of His Heavenly court, carrying out our judgments and escorting us to our place in the next world. For example, there was once a pious shul rabbi who, after … Continue reading The Angels On Our Shoulders – Parshat Vayishlach 2017

Praising Good People – Parshat Toldot 2017

We all make justifications for things we know are wrong. A few weeks ago, some of my students were selling goodies to raise money for cancer research at Maimonides’ Yom Chessed, or Day of Kindness. I saw a colleague of mine chomping down on the chocolate cupcake with an absurd amount of purple frosting on top. So I … Continue reading Praising Good People – Parshat Toldot 2017

There Are No Guarantees in Parenting – Parshat Chayei Sarah 2017

As you may know, besides my role here at Kadimah, my day job is as a Chumash teacher at Maimonides School. Early November is a dreaded time for all day school teachers, a time during which we spend several days sitting for hours as parents come to talk about their children. Occasionally, you’ll have parents who have … Continue reading There Are No Guarantees in Parenting – Parshat Chayei Sarah 2017

Why We Laugh – Parshat Vayeira 2017

I have some relatives that have a condition. It’s not serious and I doubt it has been categorized by physicians and psychologists as something that requires attention. But it’s clearly something inherited.  What these relatives do is they laugh at the wrong times. I mean, it happens to all of us that we occasionally laugh nervously at something serious … Continue reading Why We Laugh – Parshat Vayeira 2017

Sarah’s #MeToo Story – Parshat Lech Lecha 2017

These past few weeks have been challenging in many ways, to say the least. When allegations against Harvey Weinstein were revealed, a wave of accusations that now includes more than 60 women, my initial reaction was disgust and frustration. Yet another famous person revealed to be a fraud, another חילול ה׳ with a Jewish last name, another … Continue reading Sarah’s #MeToo Story – Parshat Lech Lecha 2017