Friday, February 03, 2023



Hi! Last week’s cufflinks were eyeballs, and everybody who played won! How so? Because all players cited one, two, three references to eyes, seeing, sight, blindness, vision and foreseeing. Since, by my count, there were at least 13 of these that I spotted in the parsha, the result is a multi-way tie for first place. Sometimes,


 Growing Up Is Hard to Do

Hey Shayna,

All of my friends are maturing faster than I am. They constantly talk about growing up; because I’m not growing as fast as they are, they leave me out. I feel like they are moving away from me and towards this madness. Sometimes they have secrets and go to each other’s houses together


The PA Must Pay a Price for Pressuring Israel in the International Arena

The Netanyahu government cannot avoid responding to the Palestinian move at the United Nations.

Israel’s new government is quickly approaching its first political test, following the Palestinian Authority-initiated decision of the UN General Assembly on Dec. 30, 2022, to ask the


MoDate Is the Jewish Dating Platform of the Future


Young Modern Orthodox single people face a unique challenge: the dating apps don’t feel marriage-minded enough, and a shadchan feels stuffy and perhaps a little too ‘frum.’ In an ideal world, couples would meet organically, or at least get set up by friends who know them well. This thought crossed the mind of Evan Harris, a young marketing


Young Palestinian Arab Terrorists Are Not Innocent Children

In America, minors who commit heinous crimes are tried as adults; Israel should not be criticized for doing the same.

I’ve written previously about the folly of treating violent Palestinian Arab teenagers as if they are innocent children. Now we have yet another real-life example of


When Can We Lie?

After the death of Jacob, Joseph’s brothers were afraid. Years earlier, when he had revealed his true identity to them, he appeared to have forgiven them for selling him as a slave. Yet the brothers were not wholly reassured. Maybe Joseph did not mean what he said. Perhaps he still harbored resentment. Might the only reason he


Blessings From Parents

Parshat Vayechi

The first section of the second chapter in Melachim Aleph — the haftarah selection for today — is made up of the final message given by David Hamelech to his successor, Shlomo. In the parsha, we read of how Yaakov Avinu blesses his sons and passes the “torch” —


Healthy Coping With Loss

Self-Mutilation Prohibited

The tools necessary to cope with bereavement are inherent in Devarim 14:1. This pasuk tells us: “You are children to Hashem, do not cut yourself, pull out your hair, or otherwise mutilate yourself when grieving.” In other words, the Torah prohibits


Masorah and Change

Editor’s note: This series is reprinted with permission from “Insights & Attitudes: Torah Essays on Fundamental Halachic and Hashkafic Issues,” a publication of www.TorahWeb.org. The book contains multiple articles, organized by parsha, by Rabbi Hershel Schachter and Rabbi


Nedarim 62b: Sasanian Head Tax

In Nedarim 62b, Rava asserts that Torah scholars are exempt from the “kraga,” or head tax. As Rav Steinsaltz notes, “kraga” is derived from the Persian “yarag” or “yarak,” meaning head tax, and, perhaps, the Arabic ḫaraġ comes from it. Rava’s basis is Rabbi Yehuda’s interpretation of Ezra 7:24. Achashveirosh


Filling the Gaps

I think most people agree that people shouldn’t air their dirty laundry in public, nor should they broadcast their personal issues to everyone they meet on the street. But the fact is that much of this country does just that. For some reason, Americans, and many Europeans, want everyone to know that there is something missing from their


Zera Shimshon on Parshas Vayechi

וַיִּקְרְבוּ יְמֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לָמוּת וַיִּקְרָא לִבְנוֹ לְיוֹסֵף וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ אִם נָא מָצָאתִי חֵן בְּעֵינֶיךָ שִׂים נָא יָדְךָ תַּחַת יְרֵכִי וְעָשִׂיתָ עִמָּדִי חֶסֶד וֶאֱמֶת
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