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…

Vayeira 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…

Va'etchanan 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…

Pinchas Jul 22, 2022

Success and great leadership go hand in hand. That is why organizations, sports teams and even countries can continue to excel or flounder year after…

Balak Jul 15, 2022

In a world in which image and marketing play such a crucial role, perception is often more important than reality. In fact, perception often creates…

Chukat Jul 8, 2022

Judaism has always understood that miracles have very little long-term impact on one's behaviour. During our nation's infancy in Egypt miracles were…

Korach Jul 1, 2022

The lust for power can destroy a person. It is amazing how people who are otherwise very competent are blinded to reality when the smell of power is…

Shelach Lecha Jun 24, 2022

Having the right people for the wrong job can lead to tragic consequences. Such was the fate of the meraglim. Twelve handpicked leaders, who…

Behaalotecha Jun 17, 2022

“[Then journeyed] the flag of the camp of Dan m'aseif, the gatherer, of all the camps” (Bamidbar 10:25). As the Jewish people prepared to march to…

Naso Jun 10, 2022

The first chapters of the book of Bamidbar focus on readying the people to enter the Land. The primary focus is on the physical aspects of entry; the…

Bamidbar Jun 3, 2022

In order to be effective, leaders must be sensitive to the feelings and concerns of the general populace. It is not only fact, but also perception…

Shavuot Jun 2, 2022

This year, Shavuot falls on a Sunday. This rather unremarkable observation is of little import today; but had we been living in Temple times, or even…

Jun 2, 2022

For those living in the Province of Ontario—that includes yours truly—today is Election Day!  While Jewish law may quibble with some of the modern…

Bechukotai May 27, 2022

Judaism demands that we do what’s right because it’s right, without thought of recognition or reward. Similarly, our avoidance of wrong should be…

Behar May 20, 2022

“I am the Lord your G-d, Who took you out of the land of Egypt”. While we associate these words with the first of the aseret hadibrot, the words…

Lag Ba'omer May 18, 2022

Lag BaOmer is a mysterious holiday. There is no mention of it in the Gemara, a fact that led the Chatam Sofer to object to the many practices of the…

Emor May 13, 2022

Sefer Vayikra deals with the role of the Temple and that of the Kohanim in Jewish life. So it seems quite strange that the laws of the five Biblical…

Kedoshim May 6, 2022

Commenting on the Torah's charge "to be holy, since I the Lord your G-d am holy" (Vayikra, 19:2) the Ramban explains that it is not enough to keep…

Yom Ha'atzmaut May 5, 2022

Four, seven, ten, eighteen, forty, seventy, for Jews around the world have an immediate and reflective association(s). The four questions, seven days…

Acharei Mot Apr 29, 2022

“Do not follow the ways of Egypt, where you once lived” (Vayikra 18:2). The Jewish people's formative years were those spent in the land of Egypt,…

Pesach Apr 15, 2022

“Could it be from Rosh Chodesh?” the authors of the Hagadah ask, raising the possibility that one might celebrate the Pesach[1] and tell the story of…

Metzora Apr 8, 2022

The home plays a critical—if not the critical—role in the development of Jewish life. The efforts of schools, shuls, camps, Israel trips, and the…