Terumah and fundraising

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 [...]

By | February 11th, 2016|

Where was Yehoshua?

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 [...]

By | February 9th, 2016|

Gun Zu Litova

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 [...]

By | January 11th, 2016|

Pharaoh and Bill Clinton

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 [...]

By | December 31st, 2015|

Yosef and the GOP Debate

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 [...]

By | December 16th, 2015|

Hanukah or Chanukah? Big Difference!

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, [...]

By | December 14th, 2015|

Yosef and Meir Kahane

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 [...]

By | December 9th, 2015|