That’s Gross!

Yaakov and Trump

By | November 18th, 2015|

There is an interesting note in this parshah that reminded me of something from Donald Trump's book, The Art of the Deal, which, yes I have read from cover to cover, and yes it is actually a pretty good book.In the parshah Yakov comes to town and sees the shepherd's hanging around by the well.  [...]

From a Distance

By | November 18th, 2015|

This morning I woke up with a thought that inspired me. The parshah begins saying that when Yaakov was on his way out of Israel he encountered "the place." Rashi takes note of the definite article.  He says it reminds us of when Avraham went to do the binding of Isaac, it says that he [...]

More on scandals

By | November 17th, 2015|

My last post was about how Rashi says that God is generally cautious about attaching His name to a person as long as they are alive. The more I think about the Rashi the more I understand it to be a sad commentary on Yitzchak.  It says because he was blind and confined to his [...]

Rashi and Rabbinic scandals

By | November 17th, 2015|

Just a thought that I had on a Rashi from this week's parshah. Background:Hashem appears to Yaakov and says to him, "I am the God of Yitzchak." Rashi finds this strange.  Rashi knows of no other place in scripture where Hashem associates his name, the God of X, while the person is still alive.  God [...]

Did Rebecca really get married when she was 3 years old?

By | November 13th, 2015|

A congregant asked me if I believe that Rivka was really 3 years old when she married Isaac, as some commentators suggest. This is my answer.Rashi likes to play number games with the ages of people given in the Torah. I am not completely convinced that Rashi takes the numbers literally, as much as he [...]

WALK THE BIBLE Israel Trip!

By | November 11th, 2015|

I am pleased to announce a phenomenal WALK THE BIBLE Israel trip full of experiences you’ve never had before!We will be learning about and touring the sites of some of the Bible’s most iconic scenes. There will also be a day dedicated to volunteer work.  We will have the privilege of touring during the week with [...]

How Did Noah Get Kangaroos on the Ark?

By | November 6th, 2015|

How did Noah get kangaroos for the ark?  If you haven't heard this question you have heard some question like it.  The logic goes as follows:The Bible says that Noah took two of every animal onto the ark.The Ark was in Mesopotamia.The Kangaroos were in Australia.There is no bridge from Mesopotamia to Australia.Ergo the Kangaroos [...]

Repent, You Sinners! Shabbat Shuva 5776

By | September 21st, 2015|

Shabbat Shuva is the week that Rabbis around the world give long stirring sermons in an effort to inspire their congregations to repent.but how long do these sermons have to be?  Shouldn't we just be able to say, "repent!"  and call it a day. You know who you are, and you know which sins I [...]

Trump v Sanders 2016: Korach and the Wisdom of Crowds

By | June 25th, 2015|

How did Korach manage to convince people to join his rebellion?If you look carefully at the parshah, you will find that there is only a single quotation attributed to Korach.  He says to Moshe,"You have taken too much!  The entire congregation is Holy and God is within them.  So why have you elevated yourselves over [...]

We Remember the Diet Cokes that they Served us in Egypt

By | June 25th, 2015|

There are times that the media news cycle throws out a story that is so apropos to the weekly parshah that as a Rabbi it is hard to ignore. This past week a professional female Muslim advocate in the United States was flying on United Airlines from Chicago to DC, and she ordered a Diet [...]