KI TAYTZAY — “You can run, but you can’t hide”. We all have our demons, the parts of ourselves that we wish were better or wish didn’t exist within us. The best way to deal with them is to acknowledge their reality, confront them, and challenge them. Only then do we stand a chance of working them out of our system. This week’s Torah portion, Ki Taytzay, contains a wonderful mitzvah. We are instructed to return lost objects that we may find lying in the street. Though I may be appreciative of this when I am the owner who...Read More
KI TAYTZAY — How can we be sensitive to being influenced by, or influencing, those close to us? The behaviors we model for our children often repeat in their actions. Our expressed beliefs, the stories we tell, and the interests we pursue all have an impact on our children. We all know of families that have generations with the same hobbies, business interests, and views on life. This week’s Torah portion, Ki Taytzay, introduces this idea of individual responsibility. There is in fact a verse that states that parents shall not be punished for the actions of their children, nor...Read More
KI TAYTZAY — Kindness to others in children can begin with kindness to animals. Even though children can be fairly self-centered, exposure to animals can bring out the nurturing side of a child. At times, however, children can also be cruel to insects or animals. These times provide an important opportunity for a lesson in the feelings of creatures other than human beings and can lead to greater kindness for other people as well. Our current Torah portion forbids us from plowing with an ox and an ass together. Besides a concern for not mixing species together, plowing with an ox and an ass can...Read More
SHOFTIM — Our world is results-oriented. We are used to productivity as a measure of what’s good and right. Whether it’s writing software that does what we want it to do or closing a business deal, our environment celebrates the ‘bottom line’ far more than it judges the methods used getting there. The beginning of Shoftim, this week’s Torah portion, contains instructions for judicial proceedings. We are commanded to “pursue justice justly”. Not only are the judges enjoined to focus on a just outcome, but also the litigants themselves are reminded that their pursuit of justice must be done...Read More
SHOFTIM — Children are perpetually concerned with fairness. “It’s not fair,” they cry when a sibling gets something they don’t. It’s a phrase they often use when there’s something not exactly to their liking. But “it’s not fair” can become something more mature as they grow older. It can become a concern for justice. It’s not fair, for example, can become it’s not right that a classmate is being teased on the playground, or can extend beyond their immediate environment to —it’s not right that a person has no place to sleep at night, or that a child has...Read More
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