Monday, June 05, 2023

Divrei Torah - JewishLink

The Politics of Compassion

A well-known American author asserted: “argue for your limitations and they become yours.” We trap ourselves in narrow self-defined profiles—convincing ourselves that once we possess certain character traits—we can’t also possess contradictory ones. Great people prove this formula wrong, demonstrating that traits which


Our Lives Can Always Be Cleansed by Hashem

Last week, my daughter sent me a video of my 3-year-old twin grandsons watching their minivan go through the car wash. They were shrieking with excitement as water and soap squirted all over. As a child, I also loved sitting inside the car as it went through a car wash. I felt like I was in an amusement park ride.


Seeing Hashem’s Back

“And Hashem said, ‘Behold there is a place near Me and you can stand on the rock. And it shall be when My glory passes and I shall place you in a cleft of the rock, and I shall cover you with My hand until I have passed. And I shall remove My hand and you shall see My back, but my face shall not be seen,’” (Shemot 33:21-23).


Looking at God’s Back

In Parshat Ki Tisa, Hashem tells Moshe that from this point forward, he will only see God’s back and will no longer see His face. After having Purim this week, we can better understand what Hashem is saying. Hashem is saying He will be there for us, but we will have to look to see His hand in everything. We can recognize people when we


I’m Cold! Well, I’m Hot! Who Wins?

Two young women, by the initials of HM and AM, have been arguing over the same issue since they were in the third grade; They are now in high school.

HM always wanted the window open, even in the winter. AM wanted the window closed. “It is cold in the winter and the window should be closed!” she


Determined Patience

Anticipation, waiting, looking forward. It is a difficult task to do these patiently, remaining focused on the goal and willing to wait for it, however long it takes. Yet it is that kind of dreaming and discipline that keeps us aiming high and avoiding settling for mediocrity.

This tension was at the


No Pain—Even If—No Gain

I saw it quoted about Rav Moshe Feinstein, who said near the end of his life: “as far as I know, to the furthest extent of my memory, I never harmed anyone, nor did I ever hurt a person’s feelings.”

Indeed, the greats of our nation maintained a deep sensitivity and care for the feelings of others,


The Nature of Chillul, and Kiddush, Hashem

This week, rather than reading the usual haftarah for the parsha, we read a special haftarah for Parshas Parah. This haftarah mentions, in several places, the Chillul Hashem, caused by the Jews in exile. Normally, when we speak of Chillul Hashem, people think of Jews acting in a way that is immoral, unethical, or rude. It may therefore be


The Golden Calf and Modern-Day Idolatry

A Jewish woman went to India on what seemed to be a spiritual quest. She traveled a great distance to get to this ashram and to see if she could get a meeting with the head guru. She was told by the attendant that the guru was a very busy man who spent most of his time in meditation and if she wanted to meet the guru himself, she’d have


Danger: Anger

A short fuse makes a person lose. In this week’s Torah portion (Ex. 34:6) we learn that God is extremely patient with us and is slow to get angry at someone even if he deserves it. We can learn from here to become more Godly ourselves by doing our best to be patient with others and not get angry.



Remembering Amalek and Shabbos: Two Opposite Sides of a Coin

Last year, I took my family to Florida for a winter vacation. During a Shabbos walk, we met up with a man with jet skis in his driveway. I told the man that if it weren’t Shabbos, my son and I would love to try them out! We schmoozed a little, telling him we’re from New Jersey. He said something interesting: “I see you people come


Identify to Unify

Our parsha centers around the kohanim and their related details. Interestingly, the midrash (Shemot Rabbah, 3:17) seems to imply that originally, Moshe was supposed to be the kohen gadol, but he lost that privilege to Aharon because he refused to accept Hashem’s mission to liberate Bnei Yisrael from Egypt: “[Really] you should have been

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