Monday, September 26, 2022


How Secure Are Our Connections?

Last year, at a moment in my life when I needed it most, I stumbled upon a forgotten collection of personal home videos. It took me several days to obtain the obsolete, though necessary, hardware to review the many recorded hours of our family’s history. The delightful images and joyful sounds (albeit analog) immediately


Be More Online... With Your Children

How do you know if someone is really listening to you? Really paying attention? Really focusing on what you are saying? Well, often it is hard to know for sure, but when it comes to noticing if someone is not listening or not paying attention, we can usually tell.

Frequent, awkward pauses in a


Instead of Prosecution, BDS Gets Defense at Berkeley

There are indeed strong opinions about the Middle East, and students are free to express them. But the grown-ups on campus should be teaching rather than making excuses for them.

UC Berkeley got a black eye when news outlets reported that a number of law-student organizations adopted a


The Chancellor’s Moment of Silence

When Mahmoud Abbas simultaneously libeled Israel and denigrated the memory of the Holocaust at a press conference in Germany last month, he was acting in a manner that was entirely consistent with his decades-long role as a Palestinian leader.

Ostensibly, the outburst about Israel committing “50


Against Hate

Ki Teitzei contains more laws than any other parsha in the Torah, and it is possible to be overwhelmed by this embarrass de richesse of detail. One verse, however, stands out by its sheer counter-intuitiveness: Do not despise an Edomite, because he is your brother. Do not despise the Egyptian, because you were a stranger in his


The Torah’s Balanced Approach to Divorce

We discern the Torah’s balanced approach to divorce by contrasting it with two extreme approaches to divorce. On one end, the Catholic religion forbids divorce; at the other extreme, in some Islamic traditions, we find the triple talaq, or instant divorce, by pronouncing talaq three times.

The Torah


Stained Shirt

Anyone who has ever attended summer camp knows how emotionally charged and special the “Grand Sing” is. At the conclusion of three days of Color War activities, skits, plays and songs, the entire camp gathers together. They sing all of the Color War songs, especially the “alma mater,” a song that nostalgically recounts the


Fulfilling Parshat Zachor on Ki Teitzei

Question:I heard a chumra that during a leap year, with 13 months between readings of Parshat Zachor, one should have in mind to fulfill the mitzvah of “zechirat Amalek” (remembering Amalek) during the reading of those pesukim in Ki Teitzei. Should I do that (shuls do not usually announce it)?


What Was, What Is

Parshat Ki Teitzei

The confluence of Shabbat and Rosh Chodesh that occurred two weeks ago — at which time, we replaced the usual haftarah of Re’eh with that of Rosh Chodesh — grants us the privilege of making up that “loss” this week, by reading both the selection for Parshat Ki Teitzei, as


For Others

When the Lubavitcher Rebbe shared the following story, which he heard from his father-in-law, the “Frierdiker,” or previous Rebbe, he remarked that there was a time when the chasidim refrained from sharing it publicly …

One Yom Kippur morning, Reb Shneur Zalman, the Alter Rebbe, stood in shul among


Being on the Team

“הִלֵּל אוֹמֵר, אַל תִּפְרֹשׁ מִן הַצִּבּוּר, וְאַל תַּאֲמִין בְּעַצְמְךָ עַד יוֹם מוֹתְךָ, וְאַל תָּדִין אֶת חֲבֵרְךָ עַד שֶׁתַּגִּיעַ לִמְקוֹמוֹ, וְאַל תֹּאמַר דָּבָר שֶׁאִי

Avoiding Favoritism

In our parsha, the Torah (21:15-17) describes a man married to two wives—one referred to as the “loved” one, and the other the “hated” one. While the husband prefers to give a double inheritance to the son of the wife he “loves,” the Torah declares that he does not have the authority to do so—he is instead commanded to give

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