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Parshah Columnists

Weekly Sermonette
Choose Life
Do we really need the Torah to tell us to “choose life”? Which person of sound mind would choose death?
Conviction or Compromise?
By standing firmly by our principles and convictions we can move forward in life.
“Clean Up and Carry On!”
Is living as a committed Jew difficult to you? Here's the answer from this week’s Torah portion.
For Friday Night
Healthy Dynamic
Dynamism, movement, progress, discovery and change... Or should it be strength, security, consolidation...?
Creating Bridges
The Second Level of Choice
Other people may not understand this. Apparently well-meaning and reasonable people might advise their Jewish friend: “Why bother? Take the easy way out.”
Weekly Torah
Standing Firm
Inner Stream
Genuine Growth
Moving around prevents us from laying down roots and building on previous successes. Staying in one place can result in missed opportunities. How do we balance these two important but contradictory considerations?
Students or Contributors?
The link to heaven seemed to pass away with Moses; from here on, the people would have to rely on their own analyses . . .
Parshah Messages
While We're in Exile, Where's G-d?
Though exile is a time when G-d’s presence in our lives isn’t manifest as it was—and will soon again be—during the Holy Temple glory days, it by no means signals a hiatus in our relationship with Him.
The Song that Testifies
What is the unique bond shared by the Torah and the Jew? They both are keenly aware that there is a deeper calling...
Living through the Parshah
Accessing the Hidden Love
Why was the Tanya so novel? Who was the Rebbe's target audience and what was his objective for them? Looking no further than the Tanya's title page we read the Rebbe's self-stated mission statement spelled out lucidly.
Parshah Musings
Prison Break
Who Let the Kids In?
Adults are hit-and-miss: they might be inspired for a while, but their excitement often dissipates just as quickly. When a child buys into something, however, that commitment can last a lifetime.
Are We Just Running Around in Circles?
How quickly the year flies by!
What the Rebbe Taught Me
History or Memory?
There’s no such thing as history in Judaism. The last message that Moses imparted to his people demonstrates this point.
What Do You Think?
What to Do on Your 120th Birthday
Let's imagine that you would be celebrating your 120th birthday today, with your body in full function. What would you do?
Parshah Recovery
Unity Is Our Strength
Every individual possesses some unique advantage over every other. Each member of the nation has some positive quality that is unique to him or her. Every individual is uniquely needed and indispensable.
Never-Ending Progress
When we were humiliated and dejected, we accepted that we would have to change ourselves. But when life starts to return to normalcy, we lose the sense of urgency we so keenly felt at first...
More Parshah Articles
The Free Will Problem in Judaism
The Paradox of Choice and Divine Omniscience
The classical questions, the theological contradictions, the Kabbalistic foundations, the Chassidic interpretations... Insights, essays and stories on "Freedom of Choice"
Moshiach: An Anthology
Where are we headed? What is the Jewish interpretation of history? Twenty-eight articles and dozens of source texts on the why, how, who, when and what of Moshiach and the future redemption.
In the Search for Meaning, Where Do We Look?
Many of us have an inner ache, a discontented restlessness, without knowing why.
How Valuable Is It To Live As If Every Day Were Your Last?
Instead of pretending that today were the last day of your life, what if you were to realize, instead, that it’s the first day of the rest of your life?
Covenant & Conversation
The Torah as G-d's Song
To make the Torah live anew, it is not enough to hand it on cognitively – as mere history and law. It must speak to us affectively, emotionally.
Defeating Death
What is missing from the Torah, almost inexplicably so given the background against which it is set, is a fixation with death.
Why Be Jewish?
A bat or bar mitzvah is not a “confirmation.” It involves no voluntary acceptance of Jewish identity. That choice took place more than three thousand years ago.
Beyond Speech
On the Haftarah: G‑d Is Carrying Us
For the haftarah of Nitzavim, From the Teachings of the Rebbe
Nitzavim and Rosh Hashanah: The Connection
This week's Torah portion, Nitzavim, is always read on the Shabbat before Rosh Hashanah. There are so many things about this portion that connect to Rosh Hashanah.
What I Would Say If I Could Speak . . .
A Hakhel message from a rabbi with ALS
Life's Passages
You’ve Got a Hidden Treasure
Nitzavim
Deep within each one of us lies enormous strength and a rich reservoir of wealth waiting to be cashed in—and even we may not be aware of it.
The Freeman Files
The Last Two Mitzvahs
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