We Jews are a nation of immigrants. Abraham and Sarah were immigrants. Jacob and his descendants were immigrants. We entered the Land of Israel under Joshua’s leadership as immigrants. For millennia, we Jews were the world’s first global people. Dehumanized and humiliated, expelled and dispossessed, we ceaselessly and desperately knocked on dozens of national doors, […]

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True Leadership

Our parshah states that Moses sent emissaries to a foreign king, “on behalf of Israel” (Numbers 21:21). According to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, this teaches us that true and authentic leaders always conduct themselves “on behalf of the people.” Many of us today, feel that there is a chronic paucity of great leadership in the world, […]

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Remembering Jebb Levy

Our community is in mourning this week for the passing of our communal pillar, Mr. Jebb Levy. I sense a great coming together of our community this week, in honor of Mr. Levy. So much has been said about Jebb this week. About his philanthropy and personality. I’d like to share with you two brief […]

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Our parshah contains the tragic story of the twelve spies whom Moses sent out from the desert, in order to check out and survey the Promised Land. Ten of the twelve spies came back to the people with a defeatist attitude. They stated that because the cities of the land are so well fortified, and […]

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Everybody Has a Breaking Point

Golda Meir contemplated suicide in the opening days of the Yom Kippur War. Yitzhak Rabin suffered a breakdown, shortly before the Six-Day War. Menachem Begin retired as Prime Minister midterm, exclaiming, אינני יכול יותר “I can’t take this anymore.” And Winston Churchill, the greatest statesman humanity had known in the 20th century, suffered from recurrent […]

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Rabbi Sessler D’Var Torah

בס”ד Judaism and the Lust for Life Irving stone called his biography of Vincent van Gogh “The lust for life.” The same title can be used to describe Judaism. Many religions shy away from, and categorically prohibit, some of life’s chief sensuous pleasures as sinful and unworthy. For example, in Islam alcohol is strictly prohibited […]

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Judaism and the Lust for Life

Irving stone called his biography of Vincent van Gogh “The lust for life.” The same title can be used to describe Judaism. Many religions shy away from, and categorically prohibit, some of life’s chief sensuous pleasures as sinful and unworthy. For example, in Islam alcohol is strictly prohibited under any circumstances. A Buddhist monk may […]

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Moses and His Children

 In our parshah, The Torah states: “These are the descendants of Moses and Aaron.” But lo and behold, the parshah then goes on to only mention Aaron’s children, and not a word about Moses’ children. What can we learn about the fact that the Torah has nothing meaningful to tell us about Moses’ children, except […]

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