That’s Gross!

Terumah and fundraising

By | February 11th, 2016|

In Omaha the local Hindu community asked to meet with leaders from the Jewish community.  The Hinuds were trying to build their community and they wanted advise from the Jews on community building and fundraising.Jews know how to raise money.  The Mishkan was the first fundraising project in Jewish communal history, and it was very [...]

Where was Yehoshua?

By | February 9th, 2016|

Rashi is known mostly for being concise, but one of his other notable characteristics is his humility. Over 70 times in his commentary to Tanach Rashi says, "I don't know."  One of them is in parshat Mishpatim.When Moshe ascends Har sinai to get the Torah he leaves Aharon and Hur in charge of the people [...]

Notes to Tehilim chapter 16

By | January 22nd, 2016|

Tonight my Tehilim class studied chapter 16 together.  These are some of my notes on an observation that I had as to how the chapter is connected to Megilat Esther somehow.Chapter 16The word neima (pleasant) appears twice in this chapter.  The word only appears one time in the Torah, by the brachah of Yisachar.  Interestingly, [...]

Pharoah’s State of the Union Address

By | January 18th, 2016|

My fellow Egyptians.  Today marks my State of Egypt Address.  A long standing tradition dating back to the beginning of the Middle Kingdom. It is great to see everyone!  And I mean that literally after just experiencing those three days of darkness.  But we managed to get the lights back on, and the sun is [...]

Gun Zu Litova

By | January 11th, 2016|

What does the Torah say about gun control?  Not much, considering that guns were not invented until thousands of years after the Torah, but the Torah does mention the invention of weapons.Tuval Kayin was the first sharpener of copper and iron instruments which Rashi tells us were used as weapons for murderers.  So the first [...]

Pharaoh and Bill Clinton

By | December 31st, 2015|

Jerry Seinfeld has a great routine about one of the most famous Rashis in the Torah found in this week's parshah.Never liked the check at the end of the meal system, because money's a very different thing before and after you eat. Before you eat money has no value. And you don't care about money [...]

Yosef and the GOP Debate

By | December 16th, 2015|

Immigration has always been a hot issue.  A country's immigration policy impacts both the security and the economy of that country.  These are considerations that are debated today, and they were debated in ancient Egypt.In this week's parshah Yosef has the difficult task of arranging for his brothers' visas to Egypt.  With a famine ravaging [...]

Hanukah or Chanukah? Big Difference!

By | December 14th, 2015|

President Barack Obama and presidential hopeful Ted Cruz both released statements wishing the American Jewish community a happy holiday.Obama wished us a happy Hanukah.Cruz wished us a happy Chanukah. The Washington Post published a piece by David Bernstein contrasting the two messages.According to Bernstein, President Obama's message spoke to the "culturally Jewish, universalist, theologically liberal, [...]

Yosef and Meir Kahane

By | December 9th, 2015|

In his book The Best Defense  Alan Dershowitz reminisces about dining in the old New York Kosher restaurant Shmulka Bernstein's back in the early 1970s.He recalls how Rabbi Meir Kahane used to enter the restaurant and "harangue" him and the other diners with lectures about the plight of Jews in the former Soviet Union."They're being [...]