Virtue on Display

And he stood by them under the tree and they ate. Genesis 18:8 When Hashem came to visit Abraham in Genesis 18, our patriarch saw three men and brought them food. They ate, but they turn out to be angels, and angels don’t eat, so the sages explain that they only appear to be eating.… Continue reading Virtue on Display

What Are Leaders For?

We’ve just come through a grueling, costly, and often bitter electoral process. We’ve chosen our leaders, or men and women that we hope will be leaders, and this week’s haftarah (Malachi 1:1 - 2:7) provides a reminder of what leaders are chosen for. It begins with a stark contrast between two ancient leaders, Esau and… Continue reading What Are Leaders For?

Abraham’s Rules of Engagement

Parashat Vayera, Genesis 18:1–22:24 More than 70 percent of Americans identify as Christian, but you wouldn’t know it from listening to them. An overwhelming majority of people say that they don’t feel comfortable speaking about faith, most of the time. (Jonathan Merritt, “It’s Getting Harder to Talk About God” How do we speak about… Continue reading Abraham’s Rules of Engagement

Is There Sense in Suffering?

“Great necessities call out great virtues.” – Abigail Adams American history is one of my favorite areas of extra-biblical reading, and one of my favorite authors is Doris Kearns Goodwin. Goodwin wrote the award-winning bestseller Team of Rivals, about President Lincoln and his cabinet, as well as studies of Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon… Continue reading Is There Sense in Suffering?

What do men need? part 3

We’re considering three primal needs instilled in men from the beginning, as portrayed in the opening chapters of Genesis. The first two needs are contribution and connection. Now we’ll consider the third need, Awe. This word includes a sense of transcendence, of worship, reverence, and also of fear, as we see in its first appearance… Continue reading What do men need? part 3

Passover of Moses, Passover of Elijah

Moses received the Torah at Mount Sinai, but the instructions of his Torah begin in Egypt, not Sinai: Now Adonai spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt saying, “This month will mark the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year for you.” Exodus 12:1… Continue reading Passover of Moses, Passover of Elijah