All night long I could hear Ruby the hamster running in...
Rabbi Steven Weil
October 12, 2006 | 8:00 pm
July 6, 2006 | 8:00 pm
Zot chukat haTorah begins this week's parsha, telling us that the subject of the Red Heifer is the chok of the Torah. A chok is a law that is simply incomprehensible. It makes no sense to us whatsoever.
When I tell you that a person who had become ritually defiled by close contact...
April 6, 2006 | 8:00 pm
The theme of Parshat Tzav is korbanot, the animal sacrifices brought in the Tabernacle and, later, in the Temple.
The Rambam, in his "Guide to the Perplexed," writes, "The purpose of sacrifices being incorporated into the Divine service of the Jewish people was to accommodate the...
September 25, 2003 | 8:00 pm
One of the more unusual characters in Jewish literature appears in the Book of Esther. The palace guard Charbonah originally plays a part inHaman's conspiracy to slaughter the Jews and dispossess 0them of their property. But somewhere along the way, he experiences a change of heart,...
January 30, 2003 | 7:00 pm
Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, known as the Rav to his many thousands of students, takes exception to the usual distinction many make between the chukim (decrees) and the mishpatim (judgments). Usually, some think that chukim are nonrational laws, while the mishpatim are rational,...
November 21, 2002 | 7:00 pm
Jacob spent 20 long years in the home of his father-in-law, Laban, before he could return to the land of Canaan, his home and homeland.
He had been threatened, cheated, tricked, attacked, injured and orphaned over the course of those years. Certainly, he was hoping to settle down...
August 15, 2002 | 8:00 pm
This week's Torah portion opens with a fascinating topic: the psyche of a soldier at war, and the ethical boundaries that even a soldier must observe.
KiTetze la'milchama: "When you go out to war ... and you take captives and see among the captives a beautiful woman...."
July 11, 2002 | 8:00 pm
It was the saddest day of the year. I sat on the cold, hard floor with hundreds of fellow Jews -- hungry, thirsty and unshaven. Together, we mourned the destruction of Jerusalem, studying Lamentations, the haunting words of Jeremiah the prophet. For six straight hours, we drowned...