Parashat Ki Tisa: We are all better when we give to the whole

Parashat Ki Tisa: We are all better when we give to the whole

We have a fundamental need to feel special and unique yet know that we belong. Isolation and shunning are amongst the harshest of punishments for that very reason. It is also the reason for which an Orwellian society as depicted in his novel 1984 is so frightening. We...
Parashat Mishpatim: The damage caused by our words

Parashat Mishpatim: The damage caused by our words

Try to recall the exact sensation in your body of that time you fell off your bike. What about the pain when you stubbed your toe in the middle of the night on the bed corner? Are you able to conjure up the exact sensation? Now think back to the time that someone said...
Parashat Yitro: Leaning on others

Parashat Yitro: Leaning on others

In 1972 Bill Withers wrote the iconic song “Lean on Me”. If you are over a certain age, you are already humming the tune even if you cannot recall all the lyrics. If you don’t know it — it’s a great song! That said, it is easier said than done. From birth, we are...
Parashat Bo: The blessing of freedom

Parashat Bo: The blessing of freedom

In 1984 London Life Insurance Company launched a self-serving advertising campaign to encourage Canadians to invest in their retirement plans. The idea was simple: invest with us and you too can enjoy the fictional retirement freedom at the age of 55 just like those...
Parashat Vayechi: Jacob’s legacy

Parashat Vayechi: Jacob’s legacy

The world has been turned on its ear. Each and every single day brings about new challenges, new frustrations and fresh disappointments. Businesses are suffering, supply chains are broken and we are beginning once again to encounter bare shelves. We are emotionally...
Parashat Miketz: Retaining our holiness

Parashat Miketz: Retaining our holiness

One of my favorite images during Chanukah is that of the face of a child illuminated by the candlelight of the menorah. There is something so beautiful and innocent about that image. The open awe at the flickering flame, the excitement, the pure, unguarded joy of the...
Parashat Vayeshev: What’s really behind our actions

Parashat Vayeshev: What’s really behind our actions

A few years back, there was a café in France that posted the prices for their coffee as follows: “Coffee, 7 euros, “Coffee please, 4.25 euros, “Good morning, a coffee please, 1.40 euro”. Back in 2013 this sign became an internet mini-sensation much to people’s...
Parashat Vayishlach: Consideration is paramount

Parashat Vayishlach: Consideration is paramount

Life is not fair. Part of becoming an adult is accepting this statement and moving on. We do not always get what we want, when we want it or how we want it. We get passed over for promotions, our feelings are not always returned, or our ideas are turned down at that...
Parashat Vayetzei: The lessons of childhood

Parashat Vayetzei: The lessons of childhood

This past week a parent of one of our alumni sent me a picture of a beautiful baby boy, born to a graduate of Hebrew Academy who I taught years ago. In our brief exchange, the new grandmother shared that her daughter is now living in Israel and is neighbours with...