Parshah Columnists

Guest Columnists
14 Tips for Giving and Receiving Constructive Criticism
Although it’s natural to dislike criticism, a growth-oriented person will come to appreciate and value it.
Can You Travel Back in Time? Kind Of…
One of the most powerful tools we humans possess is the ability to rewrite our own past by reframing the story.
Wedding Speeches for Devarim
Recalling the Story, Long After It’s Told
Stories connect us to value systems, a larger self and universal truth.
An Easy Life Versus a Meaningful Life
You can’t move up the ladder by yearning for a life of ease. And so, while our forefathers and mothers didn’t have easy lives, they had profoundly meaningful and spiritual lives—lives that charted our very course and destiny, and whose qualities are embedded in our spiritual DNA.
How's Your Vision?
When does one learn to adjust one’s expectations and recognize that that dreams are . . . just dreams?
Inner Voices and Dumb Choices
Brush up your inner judge, and never be duped again.
The Jewish Future Is in Our Hands
Perhaps Moses spent his last days on earth repeating lessons he had already taught to underscore the necessity of education.
Torah Insights
Too Much Sinai?
What can be better or more spiritually uplifting than camping at the foot of Sinai?
The True Translation
Translation is a sensitive and possibly dangerous process. Our sages commented that the day the Torah was translated into Greek “was as difficult for the Jewish people as the day when the Golden Calf was made.”
In Your Own Voice
How would a person who rejected the voice of morality, and the will of G‑d, be inspired to return?
Moses the Translator
The goal of the Torah is to unite all people with the one G‑d. The 70 languages, by contrast, are a source of division.
Weekly Sermonette
Criticism: Constructive or Counter Productive?
What’s the best way to influence people to modify their behavior?
How Have We Survived?
What is the biggest miracle of our generation? The fall of Communism? The peaceful political transition in South Africa? That Fidel Castro still runs Cuba?
Jews never had history. We have memory. History can become a book, a museum, and forgotten antiquities. Memory is alive. And memory guarantees our future
Life's Passages
How Do You Feel About Sending Your Child Away?
This past week, my youngest daughter left for a full month of camp for the first time.
Our Dialogue With G-d
The second level emerges when Torah becomes not just an acquisition of knowledge and a subject-object encounter—an “I” facing “it”—but a personal meeting place, an “I” facing “you,” or better yet, a “we” relationship . . .
For Friday Night
Stages in Giving the Torah
A person can live from day to day, or he or she can have a clear goal in life. For such a person, every major decision is made in terms of that goal. The same can apply to an entire people . . .
A Way Of Becoming
Devarim and the Ninth of Av.
Parshah Musings
Subliminal Advertising
I don’t know if the communists or Madison Avenue ever perfected the art of subliminal suggestion, but I am sure that G‑d has the requisite skills to pull it off . . .
Last Will and Testament
Those Jews standing around him all understood Hebrew, and I seriously doubt that any one of them would have been comforted or impressed to hear it over again in Outer Mongolian or Swahili...
Parshah Blog
DEVARIM: The Killing of the Amorites
How can G‑d take away a nation's homeland just to give it to another that He's fallen in love with? He created that land, so I suppose He has the right to give and take as He pleases...
Living through the Parshah
Ever Thought That G-d Hates You?
How often does this play out in our lives. Life is disappointing or frightening, and we immediately point the finger at G‑d: You hate me, even though I have nothing against You!
What Do You Think?
Tell Us Your Story
Sitting on Papa's or Grandma's lap eating cookies and sipping milk while listening to stories of a world bygone is the glue that cements the link of generations.
What the Rebbe Taught Me
Beating Around the Bush
What’s puzzling here is the veiled way in which Moses chose to reproach his people. How out of character for a man whose hallmark was clarity and truth! Does not allusion leave room for confusion?
A Thought for the Week
The Gentle Rebuke
Weekly Torah
Benefit of the Doubt
Moses spoke to Israel of their failings. When Moses spoke to G-d, however, he related only the virtues of the Jewish people and argued on their behalf, no matter what they did wrong...
Inner Stream
What Would Your Dying Words Be?
When our time on earth winds down, our focus naturally turns to the next generation, the children, who depend on our wisdom and life experience.
Torah in Chinese
The Talmud teaches that G‑d uttered the Ten Commandments in all 70 languages, though only the Hebrew version was heard. What was the point of speaking in languages that no one understood, let alone heard?
The Act of Knowing
Imagine if everyone saw you as you really are, as you see yourself. And you looked at everyone else and saw them as they see themselves. Our world would be a very different place, wouldn't it?
Parshah Recovery
Hearing G-d's Word
Some wonder why the same thought that we had come across in our religious studies couldn't help us overcome our alcoholism, but when heard spoken by another alcoholic, had a profound effect...
Covenant & Conversation
The Teacher as Hero
Over and above what Moses said in the last month of his life, though, is what Moses did.
The Book of Deuteronomy: Renewal of the Sinai Covenant
Deuteronomy is the last act of the Jewish people’s drama before becoming a nation in its own land, and it forms the context of all that follows.
The Effective Critic
Criticism is easy to deliver but hard to bear.
To 120: Growing Old, Staying Young
It is all too easy to abandon your ideals when you see how hard it is to change even the smallest part of the world, but when you do you become cynical, disillusioned, disheartened. That is a kind of spiritual death.
Why Are There so Many Jewish Lawyers?
Judaism is not just about spirituality. It is not simply a code for the salvation of the soul.
The Leader as Teacher
By the end of the book of Bamidbar, Moses career as a leader seemed to have come to its end. It's what he did next that bears the mark of greatness.
Profits and Prophets
Beyond Speech
Rebuke to Reward
A commentary on the haftarah for Shabbat Chazon
Happy or Sad?
A commentary on the haftarah for Shabbat Chazon
On the Haftarah: The Vision of Isaiah
For the haftarah for Shabbat Chazon, From the Teachings of the Rebbe
The question is: Who or what is Zion? And who are the captives?
How G‑d’s Unlimited Blessing Enters the World
Since G‑d’s blessing is unlimited, what does Moses’s blessing add?
Shabbat, the Light in the Darkness
The Book of Devarim is the greatest of the five Books, because it enables us to bring the first four into the physical world.
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