By Rabbi Shulamit Ambalu, July 16, 2015

Talmud scholars round the world will notice this week that the tractate we are learning each day, Nedarim, or Vows, is based on the opening of this parashah. "When a man makes a vow to the Eternal, or takes an oath imposing an obligation on himself, he shall not profane his words, all that crosses his lips, he must do."



By Rabbi Elchonon Feldman, July 9, 2015

In his scholarly masterpiece Ein Yaakov, Rabbi Jacob ibn Habib (1460-1516, Spain) quotes an aggadic tradition that debates which verse in the Torah is most significant and important.



By Felicia Epstein, June 30, 2015

Perhaps the most dangerous challenge which the Jewish people faced during their 40 years in the desert was neither the Golden Calf nor the vicious attack by the Amalekites, but the moral challenge posed at Shittim by the cult of Baal Peor.



June 25, 2015

Many non-Jewish seminaries laud the psychological benefits of our demarcated approach to mourning. Unsurprisingly, other clergy enquire about our bereavement rituals.



By Rabbi Jonny Hughes, June 19, 2015

I can still remember the way it made me feel when I discovered it. I was about nine years old and that season Liverpool were destined to be crowned champions of British football. My father had promised me that, if I was good, for my birthday I would be given the replica all-red home strip. One evening, I unexpectedly opened up the drawer where Dad had been hiding the kit and caught a peek.


Shelach Lecha

By Rabbi Shulamit Ambalu, June 10, 2015

Moses, Joshua, Caleb and the 10 princely spies struggle with the people on the borders of the land of Canaan. They fear the land, its people, even the size of its very fruit!



By Rabbi Elchonon Feldman, June 4, 2015

Every cause needs a mantra and every successful campaign is associated with a good slogan. In the 1700s, the French revolted against tyranny under the banner "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity".



By Felicia Epstein, May 28, 2015

In this sidrah, as in Exodus, Moses is instructed to count (naso) the men of Israel. Naso, which also means "to lift the head", is not the obvious verb to select to refer to counting.



By Rabbi David Mitchell, May 22, 2015

The biblical method for conducting a census avoided a direct count of heads; instead, small objects were collected, traditionally coins, such as a half-shekel. Yet in the book of II Samuel, King David errs by conducting a direct census, resulting in a plague which kills 70,000 Israelites. This tragedy leads to an ongoing Jewish faux pas — counting people.



By Rabbi Jonny Hughes, May 14, 2015

The pain was excruciating. It suddenly dawned on me why nearly every other tourist zooming around the island on a moped was covered in leg bandages. You see, when you stopped and attempted to dismount these particular bikes, one's calf inevitably came into contact with the exhaust pipe and your next sensation made hell seem like a lukewarm bath. My leg was literally melting.