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About the Author

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

]Rabbi Jonathan Sacks served as Britain’s chief rabbi from 1991 to 2013. He was recently named as the 2016 Templeton Prize Laureate. His latest book is Not in God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence

Is There Such a Thing as Good Speech?

Is There Such a Thing as Good Speech?

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The Sages understood tsara'at, the theme of this week's parsha, not as an illness but as a miraculous public exposure of the sin of lashon hara, ...


The Light of Holiness

The Light of Holiness

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Becoming partners with God in creation.


Why Civilasations Die

Why Civilasations Die

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In her recent "The Watchman's Rattle", subtitled 'Thinking our way out of extinction', Rebecca Costa delivers a fascinating account of how ...


Matzah: Symbol of Oppression or Liberty?

Matzah: Symbol of Oppression or Liberty?

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Primo Levi’s account of his experiences in Auschwitz gave me the answer.


The Sin Offering

The Sin Offering

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Why should unintentional sins require atonement at all? What guilt is involved?


Encampments and Journeys

Encampments and Journeys

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The depth of what it means to be a wandering Jew.


The Sabbath: First Day or Last?

The Sabbath: First Day or Last?

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In the immensely lengthy and detailed account of the making of the Tabernacle, the Torah tells the story twice: first (Ex. 25:1 - 31:17) as Divine ...


Who is Honored?

Who is Honored?

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Tetzaveh is the only sedra from the beginning of Exodus to the end of Deuteronomy, that does not contain the word "Moses". For once Moses, ...


Why the BDS Campaign against Israel is Dangerously Wrong

Why the BDS Campaign against Israel is Dangerously...

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Beneath the surface it's an attempt to delegtimize Israel as a prelude to its elimination.


God's Nudge

God's Nudge

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First in Yitro there were the aseret hadibrot, the "ten utterances" or general principles. Now in Mishpatim come the details. Here is how ...


Justice or Peace?

Justice or Peace?

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Moses and the art of compromise.


The Power of Ruach

The Power of Ruach

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Exploring the nature of the miracle in splitting the sea.


Jewish Time

Jewish Time

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Judaism and the birth of hope.


What Is the Theme of the Stories of Genesis?

What Is the Theme of the Stories of Genesis?

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Covenant and the intimacy of marriage.


The Jewish Journey

The Jewish Journey

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To be a Jew means to live within the tension between the world that is and the world we are called on to make.


The Birth of the World's Oldest Hatred

The Birth of the World's Oldest Hatred

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Understanding the roots of anti-Semitism.


Why Did Isaac Love Esau?

Why Did Isaac Love Esau?

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Sometimes love can do what rebuke cannot.


A Journey of a Thousand Miles

A Journey of a Thousand Miles

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Why Abraham and Sarah died at peace despite their tumultuous lives.


The Miracle of a Child

The Miracle of a Child

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Judaism is a sustained discipline in not taking life for granted.


On Being a Jewish Parent

On Being a Jewish Parent

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Meet the most influential man who ever lived.


Individual and Collective Responsibility

Individual and Collective Responsibility

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The Flood tells us what happens to civilization when individuals rule. Babel tells us what happens when the collective rules and individuals are sacrificed to it.


The Faith of God

The Faith of God

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Far more than we have faith in God, God has faith in us.


Sukkot: The Dual Festival

Sukkot: The Dual Festival

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An in-depth exploration of Sukkot and its focus on Jewish particularity and universality.


The Spirituality of Song

The Spirituality of Song

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With Haazinu we climb to one of the peaks of Jewish spirituality. For a month Moses had taught the people. He had told them their history and ...


Understanding Anti-Semitism Today

Understanding Anti-Semitism Today

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In any given period of history, anti-Semitism is justified by culture’s highest source of authority. Today that is human rights.


To Renew Our Days

To Renew Our Days

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The moment had come. Moses was about to die. He had seen his sister Miriam and brother Aaron pre-decease him. He had prayed to God - not to live ...


Not In Heaven

Not In Heaven

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When I was a student at university in the late 1960s - the era of student protests, psychedelic drugs, and the Beatles meditating with the Maharishi ...


We Are What We Remember

We Are What We Remember

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Jews have told the story of who we are for longer and more devotedly than any other people on the face of the earth.


Love Is Not Enough

Love Is Not Enough

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In a parsha laden with laws, one in particular is full of fascination. Here it is: If a man has two wives, one loved, the other unloved [senuah, ...


The Greatness of Humility

The Greatness of Humility

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Judaism’s spiritual revolution.


The Deep Power of Joy

The Deep Power of Joy

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Joy is something you share with others.


The Spirituality of Listening

The Spirituality of Listening

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Sometimes hearing is believing.


The Power of Why

The Power of Why

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In this week’s portion, Moses says some of the most inspiring words ever uttered about the why of Jewish existence.


To 120:  Growing Old, Staying Young

To 120: Growing Old, Staying Young

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Secrets of successful aging.


The Complexity of Human Rights

The Complexity of Human Rights

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We have rights as individuals but identities only as members of tribes.


Moses' Disappointment

Moses' Disappointment

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Did Moses fail as a parent?


What Makes God Laugh

What Makes God Laugh

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The folly of human delusions of grandeur.


Healing the Trauma of Loss

Healing the Trauma of Loss

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It took me two years to recover from the death of my father, of blessed memory. To this day, almost twenty years later, I am not sure why. He did ...


Hierarchy and Politics: The Never-Ending Story

Hierarchy and Politics: The Never-Ending Story

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It was a classic struggle for power. The only thing that made it different from the usual dramas of royal courts, parliamentary meetings or ...


Two Kinds of Fear

Two Kinds of Fear

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The spies were not afraid of failure. They were afraid of success.


The Blessing of Love

The Blessing of Love

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At 176 verses, Naso is the longest of the parshiyot. Yet one of its most moving passages, and the one that has had the greatest impact over the ...


A Test of Character

A Test of Character

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Judaism is a faith for those who seek to change the world.


Healing an Ancient Wound

Healing an Ancient Wound

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The meaning of tikkun and its connection to Shavuot.


The Sound of Silence

The Sound of Silence

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Bemidbar is usually read on the Shabbat before Shavuot. So the sages connected the two. Shavuot is the time of the giving of the Torah. Bemibar ...


A Sense of Direction

A Sense of Direction

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Smartphones can do amazing things – few more amazing than Waze, the Israeli-designed satellite navigation system acquired by Google in 2013. ...


Family Feeling

Family Feeling

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Family is central to Judaism.


Holy Times

Holy Times

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The parsha of Emor contains a chapter dedicated to the festivals of the Jewish year. There are five such passages in the Torah. Two, both in the ...


In Search of Jewish Identity

In Search of Jewish Identity

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The other day I was having a conversation with a Jewish intellectual and the question came up, as it often does, as to the nature of Jewish ...


The Courage to Admit Mistakes

The Courage to Admit Mistakes

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Judaism helps us admit our mistakes in three ways.


The Power of Shame

The Power of Shame

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Internet and social media as instruments of public shaming illustrates the power and the danger of a culture of shame.