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Under The Apple Tree
Under The Apple Tree

Today is National Pie Day, and if you base fact upon popular idioms, then America’s favorite food would be apple pie. It may be true, or it may just be a reflection of the fact that apples are probably the most common fruit in America (and perhaps th…

Indirect Damages
Indirect Damages

“An eye for an eye” (Exodus 21:24) is one of the most commonly quoted phrases from the Hebrew Bible. This phrase, of course, is part of Jewish civil law and serves as the original reference to monetary compensation for personal damages…

Australian Pride
Australian Pride

Among the Australian Jewish community, Sir Isaac Isaacs (1855-1948) was a man who was often far more admired than he was liked. In his retirement, after a long and illustrious political career, Sir Isaac frequently wrote articles for the Jewish press a…

Honoring King
Honoring King

“The Hebrew prophets belong to all people because their concepts of justice and equality have become ideals for all races and civilizations. Today we particularly need the Hebrew prophets because they taught that to love God was to love justice…The…

Giving and Receiving Criticism
Giving and Receiving Criticism

Great leaders are often those who are able to accept criticism. It seems to be, the higher one’s position of leadership, the fewer suggestions people are willing to make. Imagine how intimidating it would be to tell Moses, a man who conversed directly…

The New Year for Trees
The New Year for Trees

While it has been a difficult winter for many of us, it may be time to look beyond the turbulent weather and see that spring is just around the corner. You might wonder how one can possibly think of spring at the present time, but, according to Jewish …

Tu B’Shevat
Tu B’Shevat

This Thursday, Jews around the world celebrate Tu B’Shevat, the new year of the trees. Tu B’Shevat is often celebrated with the 7 species for which the Torah praises the land of Israel: “A land of wheat and barley, …

The Foundation Commandment
The Foundation Commandment

“I am the Lord your God.” These are the opening words of the first of the Ten Commandments. While these words do seem strange as a “commandment,” they are, in fact, the foundation of all commandments. Indeed, throughout the Torah one finds the …

Hail the Accuser
Hail the Accuser

In the era of social media, it is an almost everyday occurrence to be asked to sign a petition or to “like” a cause. When Emile Zola, the celebrated French novelist, published J’Accuse on January 13, 1898, he could only hope that his essay would gain popularity and stir a response from the masses. He had no idea of the impact it would have on his own life.

The Shabbat of Song
The Shabbat of Song

Music speaks to the heart, and, not surprisingly, the heart often speaks through music. Thus, when the Israelites crossed the Sea of Reeds (aka the Red Sea) and witnessed the destruction of the pursuing Egyptian army, they burst into spontaneous song (led by Moses).

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