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Wisdom

On the Shabbos before Purim, there is a special commandment to remember to forget the evil nation of Amalek. We do this right before Purim because Haman, the villain of the Purim story, who planned to annihilate the Jewish people, was a descendent off Amalek. We fulfill our obligation of […]
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On the Shabbos before Purim, there is a special commandment to remember to forget the evil nation of Amalek. We do this right before Purim because Haman, the villain of the Purim story, who planned to annihilate the Jewish people, was a descendent off Amalek. We fulfill our obligation of […]
read more
As Joe Biden was inaugurated today, there has been a lot of concern about increased tension in the world – between near and distant brothers and sisters – stemming from political disagreements. But of course, arguments between siblings are nothing new. A striking midrash highlights this universal phenomenon with several […]
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As Joe Biden was inaugurated today, there has been a lot of concern about increased tension in the world – between near and distant brothers and sisters – stemming from political disagreements. But of course, arguments between siblings are nothing new. A striking midrash highlights this universal phenomenon with several […]
read more
When he watches news unfold from Washington DC,  Rabbi Abraham Unger keeps one hand on the US Constitution; the other on his Talmud. “Both are focused on equality, justice and building community,” he says. No one knows that better than Rabbi Unger who holds the novel distinction of being both […]
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We always focus on the obvious miracles of Chanukah: the miraculous military victory of a small band of fighters against a might army, the fact that the Maccabees found a small jar of oil in the rubble of the Holy Temple and that that oil burned for eight days, when […]
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What’s the purpose of a miracle? There are of course many answers, including those that are specific to the particular miracle in question. For instance, I recently learned how Abarbanel (15th-century Portuguese commentator) explains the purpose of one particular miraculous moment in the Book of Judges. In Judges Chapter 13, […]
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What’s the purpose of a miracle? There are of course many answers, including those that are specific to the particular miracle in question. For instance, I recently learned how Abarbanel (15th-century Portuguese commentator) explains the purpose of one particular miraculous moment in the Book of Judges. In Judges Chapter 13, […]
read more
As traditional media will tell you again and again, religious Jews who leave observance primarily do so because they are shrewder and more clever than their co-religionists. The community is mostly made up of patsies who can’t see past the theological garbage they’ve been indoctrinated by. But those of exceptional […]
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When you dig into your Thanksgiving turkey this year, remember that it’s not only an American tradition, and an opportunity to express gratitude for our great country, but a mitzvah. Surprised? Let me explain.  The Torah, in Leviticus Chapter 7, discusses a “korban todah”—a “thanksgiving sacrifice.” The commentator Rashi explains […]
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