SHEMOT: Who runs the world?

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”  – Marianne Williamson (Author and Activist) Exodus, “The book of names” ironically seems to be intentionally ambiguous, with names of the main characters at the outset of the book. The verses seem deliberately vague. We learnContinue reading “SHEMOT: Who runs the world?”

VAYECHI: Life through the windshield not the rear mirror

How can the life of such a man, Be in the palm of some fool’s hand? To see him obviously framed, Couldn’t help but make me feel ashamed Bob Dylan, Hurricane Why do we do it to ourselves? We put ourselves through the ringer. Living life in the rear-view mirror. Sheryl Sandber writes in Option B, “whenContinue reading “VAYECHI: Life through the windshield not the rear mirror”

VAYIGASH: Three fathers, two brothers, one blessing

It takes two men to make one brother – Israel Zangwill A Jewish mother is walking down the street with her two young sons. A passerby asks her how old the boys are. “The doctor is three,” the mother answers, “and the lawyer is two.” Us Jews have always placed huge expectations on our children, everyContinue reading “VAYIGASH: Three fathers, two brothers, one blessing”

CHANUKAH:Culture and Anarchy Hebrew and Hellenist

Hebraism and Hellenism, – between these two points of influence moves our world. Matthew Arnold First, never go against the best light you have; secondly, take care that your light be not darkness. Thomas Wilson It was Eric Gruen, in his Heritage and Hellenism, who wrote that the Macabbean revolution sparked a process that helped to define Jewish characterContinue reading “CHANUKAH:Culture and Anarchy Hebrew and Hellenist”

VAYISHLACH: Are we meant to be comfortable with ourselves?

“So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak.” Bereishit 32:24 It was the great American leader and Rabbi, Joseph Soloveitchik, who asked, in his seminal work The Lonely Man of Faithn whether loneliness can be either the Kierkegaardian anguish – an ontological fear nurtured by the awareness of nonbeing threatening one’s existence –Continue reading “VAYISHLACH: Are we meant to be comfortable with ourselves?”

VAYEITZEI: Learning to nourish the voice within

It was Israel Zangwill, the close associate of Theodore Herzl, who said that the Jewish people were “a people without a land”. We are a wandering nation. As Paul Johnson, in his seminal History of the Jews notes – after the Roman sacking of the Second Temple, the Jewish nation began the long and arduousContinue reading “VAYEITZEI: Learning to nourish the voice within”

CHAYEI SARA: The power of our past to define our future

In this week’s Torah portion, Chayei Sarah, literally “The Life of Sarah”, we are informed of her passing. The Torah states: “These are the years  of the life of Sarah 100 years, twenty years and seven years the years of her life”. Rashi noting the seeming repetition of the phrase years of her life comments that “allContinue reading “CHAYEI SARA: The power of our past to define our future”

Shelach & Eli Cohen

   This weeks Torah portion Shelach , relates the story of Moshe sending 12  spies on a reconnaissance trip to the promised land. A trip which had catastrophic consequences for the Jewish people. My mind always recalls the story of Eli Cohen Israel’s greatest spy. He is best known for his espionage work in 1961–65 in Syria,Continue reading “Shelach & Eli Cohen”