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Guest Columnists

Don't Be a Building in the Desert
Moses wasn’t telling Yitro anything he didn’t know. Rather, he was trying to see if his father-in-law really possessed the mettle to join G‑d’s people.
What Jethro and the Happy Fisherman Both Knew
"How do we break 'out of the box' and not end up like Mr. Smith, suggesting dumb ideas to the fisherman? Jethro, our parshah’s titular character, knew the answer"
Pharaoh and the Squeegee Men
G‑d’s compassion was not based on our “deserving” it. And that is the deep reality of compassion: It is not earned; rather, it is given.
Jethro: Father-in-Law of Moses
As Described in the Bible, Midrash and Talmud
Jethro (or Yitro or Yisro) was a Midianite priest and the father-in-law of Moses. He is mentioned three times in the Pentateuch, once in the Prophets and in numerous places in rabbinic literature. Let us learn what we can about this fascinating figure.
The Smallest of All Mountains
Absolute humility is dangerous
Jethro and Me
On my first trip to Israel in 1978, my traveling companion wanted to climb Mt. Sinai . . .
The Spark of All Truths
“And [Moses] was there [on Mount Sinai] with G‑d forty days and forty nights; bread he did not eat and water he did not drink” (Exodus 34:28). Very interesting. Have you ever tried it?
Is G-d Religious?
If G-d transcends all limitation and definition, and religion is a set of laws and rituals and a list of things that one must or must not do, why would the way to relate to G-d be to impose further restriction and definition on our already finite and constricted lives?
They entered me like tiny pieces of a puzzle that found the space, or impression, that was carved exactly to fit their dimensions. Then they would snap together, forming sentences and paragraphs and concepts...
The First Good Kabbalah Class
Kabbalah was bursting colorfully in the air like a fireworks display...
Reality and Its Shadow
One might reasonably suppose that since oxen and pits are facts of life, the Torah must implement laws to govern their many possible interactions. In fact, the situation is just the reverse . . .
On An Eagle's Wings
Why did the Almighty choose the imagery of an eagle to describe His love for and providence over us? One question - five explanations
When All Excuses Fail...
Ultimately, no one can change our lives but we. Just as alcohol can not solve one’s emotional challenges, inspiration can not take the place of effort.
Making Judaism Relevant
If G‑d was trying to give His best credentials to His newly acquired nation, why would He choose to mention the exodus? Isn't the creation of the heavens and earth a far greater feat?
Serving the Community
Personal well-being enhances public service. How does one strike that balance?
Is There Anything Wrong with Arguing?
We are a nation that argues. A lot.
How to Have a Healthy Relationship
Finding the balance betwee the love and fear of G‑d.
The Sanctity of Time
Parshat Yitro
Imagine the accomplishment of being present wherever you are, giving one hundred percent to your loved ones, your prayer, your study, your work, and your colleagues.
Find Glamour in the Grind
Do you ever fantasize about making a bold change in your life, perhaps starting a new career or moving to another city?
The Secret of Harmonious Relations with the In-Laws
Yitro was a leader, scholar and a mystic; Moses was a fugitive on the run, and had not yet had a G-dly revelation. Yitro was an idolater, Moses a monotheist. How did the two get along?
Egyptian at Sinai
Any successful speaker will tell you that you need to speak your audience's language. "When in Finland," the saying goes, "start with Finish." But why does G-d start the Ten Commandments in Egyptian?
The Great Sinai Debate
Two sages of the Talmud debate whether the Jews actually saw heavenly thunder at the giving of the Torah.
Learning to Delegate
When you delegate thoughtfully, you turn delegates into partners, not just employees.
A Sabbath Unto God
Rabbinic enactments take us beyond the strict letter of the law, reflecting the deep, innate Jewish desire to cleave to God's ways.
Moses the Egalitarian
An Essay on Parshat Yitro
On the plane of the soul there can be no criterion by which to determine who is higher and who is lower. As a result, it can truly be said that “all the people in the community are holy.”
Why Was Moses Reluctant to Delegate?
For generations, the commentators have struggled with this story. : Why would Moses not have come to this realization on his own?
Maximizing Inspiration
Inspiration is the first phase that’s meant to evoke a second phase of continuous effort.
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