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Feb 4, 2019, 11:21 PM
The Art of Compromise
‘It’s a matter of principle’ or ‘I’m right and you’re wrong’ are conversation stoppers that frustrate efforts to resolve a dispute between opposing parties. Worse yet is an ad hominem attack on the proponent of a position. Once one party...
Jan 31, 2019, 10:16 AM
Our Worst Fears, Our Best Hopes
It’s made world headlines – Melbourne rabbi verbally abused in road attack. The ugly and vicious anti-semitic comments aimed at the rabbi were chilling, if not completely unsurprising. We know that even in tolerant, multicultural Melbourne there’s been an...
Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Jan 29, 2019, 12:44 AM
Parashat Yitro: Once Upon a Time
Israeli youth have an easier time reading the Hebrew Bible and Mishnah because Modern Hebrew is often their "mother tongue" - though regularly not their mother's tongue. (In Israel, many mothers learn the mother tongue from their children -...
Jan 28, 2019, 10:52 AM
Learning from Failure: We Can Do Better with Our Converts
Integrating Jewish converts into mainstream Jewish life has been a perennial challenge. The roots of the issue appear in the Torah itself. This past Shabbat, in synagogues throughout the world, we read how Jethro, inspired by all of G-d’s wondrous...
Jan 26, 2019, 9:21 PM
Parashat Yitro: The Courts Must NOT Reflect Popular Will Alone
Shavua Tov. "Alexis de Tocqueville slept here." I was thrilled to see this plaque in my home town of Erie, PA. I talk to my children a lot about de Tocqueville, his warnings in Democracy In America (1835, 1840) about the "tyranny...
Allen S. Maller
Jan 25, 2019, 11:50 PM
“Abraham listened to my voice; abiding by my …Torah” Genesis 26:5
How can the word Torah appear in the Torah before the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai? Torah has the general meaning of teaching, so teaching or law is often used to translate the word Torah. But the Genesis...
John L. Rosove
Jan 25, 2019, 6:29 PM
The Aleph as the first letter of the Ten Words – Parashat Yitro
The first letter of the Hebrew Aleph-Bet and the the first letter in the first word of the Ten Commandments (lit. "words" – aseret ha-d’varim) is the Aleph (Exodus 20:1). Commentators find deep meaning in the form and construction of...
Sharona Margolin Halickman
Jan 25, 2019, 4:40 PM
Where are the exemplary leaders?
In Parshat Yitro, Moshe is overwhelmed with judging the nation on his own. Yitro, Moshe’s father in law noticed this and told Moshe that he will wear himself out if he continues to do everything on his own. Yitro’s suggestion...
Jan 25, 2019, 4:39 PM
“The projector showed a peculiar image of a man in a faded hat and overcoat” writes Tara Westover in her breathtakingly compelling memoir Educated. Raised by Idaho survivalists, she had not stepped foot into a classroom until her Freshmen...
Ilana Goldstein Saks
Jan 25, 2019, 3:47 PM
How an intimidating spectacle becomes a comfort
It's remarkable how one singular event at Mount Sinai gave rise to so many different opinions (Yitro)