Parsha Va’yeira

Unconcealed Impudence by Rabbi Myer Kripke Our Sidrah is startling and unusual. It includes the destruction of the wicked cities of Sodom and Gemorah. The Sacred Text identifies the source of the wickedness of the cities as inhospitable behavior on the part of its...

Parsha Lech Lecha

Because of Abraham by Rabbi Myer Kripke Most of us can look back on certain experiences of our lives and remember people who influenced us profoundly. Parents, perhaps, or teachers, or friends. Nations and societies have those memories too. The glory of ancient Greece...

Parsha Ki Tavo

Gratitude by Rabbi M. Kripke Our Sidrah opens with instruction to the Hebrews (who were about to enter Canaan) to remember that this land is the Lord’s gift to them. They were to show their gratitude by  making an (annual?) acknowledgement, formal and solemn, at the...

Parsha Ki TeiTzei

Out of Exile by Rabbi Myer Kripke Our Sidrah is one of the most exciting and joyous parts of Deuteronomy, indeed, the whole Pentateuch. Deutero-Isaiah, one of the world’s greatest poets in human literature, offers his compatriots an exciting picture of what will...

Parsha Shofetim

Idolatry: walking away by Rabbi Myer Kripke A sharp-eyed commentator on the Torah noticed the special use of the verb “to go” (vayelekh) in a verse in our Sidrah. In a passage about idolatrous worship, the text has it: “a man or woman who has affronted the Lord your...

Parsha Re’eh

The God of history by Rabbi M. Kripke A 19th century commentator, Samson Raphael Hirsch, suggested that the reminder that Pesach occurs in the springtime is not simply chance. It is a profound warning that there are always forces in life that tend to draw us away from...