MTL

Parshas Emor – Don’t Worry, Be Happy

What is the most difficult mitzvah in the Torah? Fasting on Yom Kippur? No Oreos for eight days on Passover? No texting for 25 hours on Shabbos? Surprisingly, some commentaries say that the most difficult is the one, found in this week’s Torah portion, commanding us to rejoice on the festivals. Because happiness is serious business, with …

Parshas Emor – Don’t Worry, Be Happy Read More »

Parshas Vayikrah – Of Course Animal Sacrifice Seems Barbaric and Pagan, That’s Why We Pray for Its Return!

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz recently penned an open “letter to Hashem (G-d)”, asking why we pray for a third Temple that will include animal sacrifice. I will be bold enough to assume that he has not yet received what the Kabbalists refer to as a piska min shimaya – a miraculous letter from Heaven – in response. But that’s …

Parshas Vayikrah – Of Course Animal Sacrifice Seems Barbaric and Pagan, That’s Why We Pray for Its Return! Read More »

Parshas Vayikra – The Little Aleph That Could

“What should a person do to live? He should kill himself! And what should a person do to die? He should enliven himself!” This enigmatic Talmudic passage begs for interpretation. Life is death and death is life? Were the Rabbis giving suicide advice or encouraging a morbid or nihilistic outlook on life, G-d forbid? Of …

Parshas Vayikra – The Little Aleph That Could Read More »

Parshas Vayakhel-Pekuday- No Plain Jane

What makes YOU special? What are YOUR talents? What makes YOU unique? Do you dance? Sing? Read Morse Code? Play the ukulele? Ride a unicycle? Are you athletic? A tech genius? Gorgeous? Fabulously wealthy? The truth of the matter is that despite what we try to portray (or more accurately, fake) on our social media accounts, …

Parshas Vayakhel-Pekuday- No Plain Jane Read More »

Parshas Terumah – Holy Homes

It is a fundamental principle of the Jewish faith that G-d’s constant presence fills all of existence. Whether one prefers the terminology of the Kabbalists that there is “no space void of Him,” of the philosophers who say that G-d is the “First Cause” and “Ongoing Sustainer,” or of the popular children’s song that declares, “Hashem …

Parshas Terumah – Holy Homes Read More »

Parshas Mishpatim – Small Gestures, Major Results

How much is a small gesture worth? Consider the following. Children are on the school bus on the way home from a grueling day at school. The bus driver barks at the children. The children’s already edgy mood is exacerbated.  They come home and fight with their siblings. This drives their mother crazy. She takes …

Parshas Mishpatim – Small Gestures, Major Results Read More »