Monday, November 28, 2022

Divrei Torah - JewishLink

Better They Learn From Me

Conflict resolution is one of the most important tasks in human relations at every level. Open up any newspaper, and you will read of schoolchildren bullying each other, of married couples who are in bitter conflict, of political parties enmeshed in verbal warfare and of nations literally at war. What are some of the strategies


Candle of God Is the Soul of Man

I no longer remember which Israeli artist colony I was visiting. Perhaps Jaffa. But I will never forget the crude, almost primitive paintings that were on exhibit. They were all very different in color, style and size. They varied from somber dark browns and grays to tropical oranges, reds and yellows. Some were very realistic, some


The Nazir and Narcissus

Webster’s dictionary defines paradox as “a statement that is contradictory in fact and, hence, false.” In life, however, there are numerous paradoxes that are, strangely enough, not false at all. In religious life we find many such paradoxes, and one of them is to be found in the Torah portion that we read this week.


Shavuot: Two Very Different Texts

Note: This week marks the beginning of the seventh year of thePerson in the Parsha series, which began withParshat Bamidbar , May 2009. A book collecting the best of the nearly 300Person in the Parsha columns is being prepared for publication later this year.


Shavuot: Lessons From a Standing Scroll

Well before the concept of a safety deposit box was introduced, God told Moshe that there was one item that must be securely stored. Moshe was instructed to place the luchot (tablets) that he received when he ascended Mount Sinai into the holy Ark, which was to be found in the innermost chamber of the Tabernacle. In Exodus (25:16)


Behar-Bechukotai: Habit Power

Whenever my grandfather would visit us he would ask me to obtain the key for the local synagogue. As regular readers of this column know by now, my paternal grandfather was a man who utilized his every spare moment to study Torah. Rather than study at home, he preferred to study in a community beit midrash, or study hall, and so he


Parshat Emor: Introvert/Extrovert

Although many of his adherents deny it, he definitely had an anti-Semitic streak and was at least, for a time, sympathetic to the Nazi cause. Yet he was one of the major psychological theorists of the 20 thcentury, and I personally have found his insights into the human mind both fascinating and practical.


Good and Religious

It is a debate that goes back to the time of Plato. I have personally been discussing this issue for much of my life, particularly in my conversations with colleagues in the field of psychotherapy. It can even be argued that this debate has its origin in one of the two Torah portions we read this week, Acharei Mot/Kedoshim


Rabbi’s Musings and Amusings—To Build and to Maintain

Although it’s always sad when a Yom Tov ends, there was always something exciting about Motzei Pesach. As soon as we finished putting away all of the Pesach dishes, cutlery, tablecloths, haggadahs, etc. we excitedly ripped the tinfoil off the counters, and cut the bows tied around the handles on the chometz shelves. Within a few minutes


Yeast Rises and So Do We All

From the first time I ever baked challah, I felt an instant connection—from the physical way of forming the dough to the ultimate spiritual realm of connecting to a higher purpose. There are very few other ways in Judaism that I truly can say I feel deeply connected in a very overpowering way. I have been making challah on and off for a


A Time for Silence, a Time for Speech

He did most of his writing and public speaking almost exactly 100 years ago. He had no secular education, and it is doubtful that he even read the newspapers of his day. Nevertheless, he had insights into the problems of his era that were astounding, even prophetic.

His diagnosis of the ills of the early


Parsha Shemini: “The Stork and the Heron”

When children once inquired about where babies come from, they were told that the stork brought them.

The stork is a migratory bird that was very familiar to people living in central Europe. The stork would suddenly, almost mysteriously, appear in the spring after a long absence during the cold winter.

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