Tazria Apr 21, 2023

There is no aspect of our life that is beyond the purview of Torah. People need its rules and regulations in every area, to keep their natural…

Shemini Apr 14, 2023

At times of crisis, true leaders often emerge, be they political, military or religious. Their ability to effectively provide inspiration, motivation…

Pesach Apr 11, 2023

A legal system by its very nature is detail oriented. While laws represent the values of any given society, a law once established takes on an…

Pesach Apr 4, 2023

“Go out and learn what Lavan the Aramean sought to do to Yaakov, our father. Pharaoh only decreed on the males but Lavan sought to uproot everything…

Tzav Mar 31, 2023

“Do not eat any blood…any person who eats blood shall have his soul cut off from his people” (Vayikra 7:26-27). The prohibition against eating blood…

Vayikra Mar 24, 2023

One of the tragedies of the human condition is the inability to admit our mistakes. Even when faced with compelling arguments to the contrary man has…

Vayakhel Mar 17, 2023

"Moshe said to the Jewish people: See that G-d called in the name of Bezalel, the son of Uri, the son of Chur, of the tribe of Judah" (Shemot 35:30…

Ki Tisa Mar 10, 2023

Why did Moshe break the luchot habreet, the tablets of testimony,  that were written by G-d himself? While one might be tempted to answer that it was…

Tetzaveh Mar 3, 2023

For many, when the Torah reading reaches the parshiot of Terumah and Tezaveh interest in the parsha wanes just a bit (or maybe more). It is hard to…

Terumah Feb 24, 2023

In his introduction to Pirkei Avot, the Rambam distinguishes between those mitzvot which we are to observe because we want to and those we should…

Feb 17, 2023

Like many Torontonians, I was shocked and saddened to hear that our mayor, John Tory was resigning after having had an affair with a former staff…

Yitro Feb 10, 2023

Famine, exile, dissent, descent, slavery, persecution, death and at last redemption. The Jewish people have crossed the sea – finally believing “in G…

Beshalach Feb 3, 2023

The story of the attack by Amalek upon the newly freed slaves from Egypt appears twice in the Torah, once in our parsha and once 40 years later in …

Bo Jan 27, 2023

The Torah is full contradictions[1]. So much so that interpreting these contradictions is one of the most fundamental principles of Biblical exegesis…

Vaera Jan 20, 2023

One of the amazing features of man is his ability to adapt to practically any and all situations. When facing tragedy, we often feel that we can no…

Shemot Jan 13, 2023

“And a new king arose who did not know Yosef” (Shemot 1:6). What a difference a few years can make. In the 59 years between the death of Yosef and…

Vayechi Jan 6, 2023

"And they said, should they make our sister like a harlot?" (Breisheet 34:31). So ends round one of the debate between Yaakov on one side, and Shimon…

Vayigash Dec 30, 2022

One of the tests of the character of a person is seeing how they react to adversity. Do they try to make the best of the situation, taking advantage…

Mikeitz Dec 23, 2022

One of the central motifs of the biblical narrative is food. Matzah, manna, mei merivah highlight the crucial role of food in shaping the course of…

Chanukah Dec 19, 2022

Ask any child – or adult for that matter – how we celebrate Chanukah and chances are beyond pretty good that the answer will be by lighting the…

Vayeshev Dec 16, 2022

Brotherly love is something that appears to be missing throughout Sefer Breisheet. Starting with Cain and Hevel, to Yitzchak and Yishmael, Yaakov and…

Vayishlach Dec 9, 2022

“The messengers returned to Yaakov with the report: We came to your brother Eisav and he is also heading towards you. He has 400 men with him” (…

Vayetze Dec 2, 2022

“And Yaakov left Be'er Sheva and headed towards Charan (Breisheet 28:10).” Yaakov is sixty-three, has not married and is literally running for his…

Toldot Nov 25, 2022

Our Torah is a Torah of truth. As a description of G-d, with each mitzvah representing a different aspect of the Divine, it can be no other way.…

Chayei Sarah Nov 18, 2022

Man has an innate desire to make a name for himself. The fear of being forgotten is a fear that grips us all. For many, this serves as a key stimulus…

VaYera Nov 11, 2022

“And Avraham awoke in the morning” (Breisheet 22:3). It is from this verse that the Sages (Pesachim 4a) derive the principle zerezim makdimim…

Lech Lecha Nov 4, 2022

“G-d said to Avram, go away from your county, your birthplace and your father’s home, to the land that I will show you” (Breisheet 12:1). While it…

Noach Oct 24, 2022

Noach was, in the words of the Bible, “righteous and pure”. Twice in the space of few verses the Torah tells us that “Noach did all that G-d…

Breisheet Oct 20, 2022

"G-d said: What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is screaming to Me from the ground" (Breisheet 4:10). G-d approached Cain after the…

Simchat Torah Oct 16, 2022

Holidays are a most opportune time to instill in our children the values and character traits that personify a Jewish lifestyle. At first glance…

Sukkot Oct 14, 2022

When studying literature we must study not only its content, but also its form. This is especially true in the study of poetry, where the words…

Haazinu Oct 9, 2022

“The deeds of the Mighty One are perfect, for all his ways are just. He is a faithful judge; never unfair, righteous and straight is He" (Devarim 32:…

Sukkot Oct 9, 2022

Holidays are a most opportune time to instill in our children the values and character traits that personify a Jewish lifestyle. At first glance…

Yom Kippur Oct 4, 2022

“How majestic was the kohen gadol as he left the Holy of Holies in peace, without injury…like the kindness that is placed on the bridegroom’s face…

Vayelech Sep 30, 2022

The time has come for new leadership. “I am no longer able to come and go, and G-d has told me you will not cross the Jordan” (Devarim 31:2). While…

Nitzavim Sep 23, 2022

It is customary that on the shabbat before a new month we "announce" its arrival with a prayer that the upcoming month be filled with the blessings…

Sep 19, 2022

That the passing of Queen Elizabeth ll marks the end of an era is a great understatement. One need not list how much the world has changed in the…

Ki Teitzei Sep 9, 2022

When studying Torah we must study not only its content, but also its form; not just what the Torah says, but also how it says it. Proper study…

Shoftim Sep 2, 2022

Judaism has always placed tremendous emphasis on intellectual achievement and development. Talmud Torah k’neged kulam—the study of…

Re'eh Aug 26, 2022

How can you tell if somebody loves you? We all understand that words alone are hollow, and that it is actions that count. Even so, it is not always…

Eikev Aug 19, 2022

The measure of a human being is revealed by the little things. The greater the person, the more one understands the significance of the small details…

VaEtchanan Aug 12, 2022

Our Sages ordained that we should read parshat VaEtchanan on the Shabbat after Tisha B’Av. As they phrased it, “tzumu v’tzlu, fast and pray”. On…

Tisha B'Av Aug 7, 2022

One does not have to look very hard to find sources within our tradition that allow, encourage, or even demand that we “hate” others.  While the…

Devarim Aug 5, 2022

Each one of the five books of the Chumash has a unique central theme, be it the choosing of the Jewish nation (Breisheet), redemption (Shemot), …

Portugal Jul 29, 2022

I have long had an interest in Jewish history, finding it inspiring and illuminating to be part of a people who go back 4,000 years, who have lived…

Massei Jul 29, 2022

When the eighth day of Pesach falls on Shabbat, those of us living outside of Israel lain the special Torah reading for Yom Tov Sheni[1], while those…

Portugal Jul 28, 2022

Portugal is one of the few countries in Europe in which no Jews were deported during World War ll. The only Portuguese Jews to be killed in the…

Portugal Jul 27, 2022

The ancient town of Belmonte is nestled in the mountains of Portugal, with breathtaking views and beautifully cobblestoned streets steeped in history…

Portugal Jul 26, 2022

When one thinks of recent world powers, it is unlikely many would think of Portugal. But had we lived 500 years ago our thinking would be very…

Portugal Jul 22, 2022

I last travelled abroad in February 2020 to visit our daughter studying in Israel. Arriving back in Toronto I smiled upon seeing the signs to let…