Earning the Fish of our Labor

In the sixth Aliyah of our Parsha (11:5-6) B’nei Yisrael recall longingly the foods they ate in Mitzrayim. זכרנו את הדגה אשר נאכל במצרים חנם את הקשאים ואת האבטחים ואת החציר ואת הבצלים ואת השומים ועתה נפשנו יבשה אין כל בלתי אל המן עינינו, “We remember the fish which we ate in Egypt for nothing; […]

Commitment, Obligation, Responsibility

I have noticed that many translate the word “mitzvah” into English as “good deed”. Perhaps this is because the word “commandment” falls hard on our modern ears, living in cultures that extol freedom, liberty and individual rights. Those are wonderful values rightly deserving of celebration, to be sure. They should, however, be balanced against the […]

From Slave to Master, Master to Slave

One of the more shocking behaviors that we find seemingly sanctioned in the Torah is the concept of slavery. Many of us are familiar with the most common explanation of the Torah’s sanctioning of this odious practice.  While in an ideal world we would find slavery forbidden by the Torah, the societal reality at the […]

The Courage to Step Up

Something that is often taken for granted by onlookers is the amount of practice and effort it takes to become proficient in something. I remember when I was a volunteer firefighter for the Lower Merion Fire Department and the incorrect notions people had about how one became a volunteer first responder. And I know about […]