Rabbi’s Blog
A weekly message from Rabbi Cantor Menachem Mirski, Ph.D.

Category Parasha

White lies as a sin of omission

 Reflections on Yom Kippur 5782.

The time of Yom Kippur is the time of our confession. We confess our sins together before God as a whole community, because they are not only “our private affairs”, if only because the effects of our offenses are often felt by other people. As Jews, we have also been – Continue Reading

Białe kłamstwa jako grzech zaniechania

Refleksje na Jom Kipur 5782

Czas Jom kippur to czas naszej spowiedzi. Nasze grzechy wyznajemy przed Bogiem wspólnie, jako cała społeczność, bowiem nie są one wyłącznie “naszymi prywatnymi sprawami”, choćby dlatego, że skutki naszych przewinień są często odczuwalne przez innych ludzi. Jako Żydzi Continue Reading

Can’t we all just get along?

Thoughts on parashat Mattot-Masei.

Recently I re-watched an American classic “Saving Private Ryan”. The main character of the story, Captain John H. Miller, played by Tom Hanks, (spoiler alert) was killed by a German soldier whose life was spared earlier by captain Miller himself, in an act of benevolence and mercy. Continue Reading

Anger Breeds Chaos and Chaos Breeds Anger

Thoughts on Parashat Behaalotecha.

To set the stage: Van Nuys, one of the northern neighborhoods of Los Angeles, Monday J Continue Reading

Gniew rodzi chaos a chaos rodzi gniew

Refleksja nad paraszą Bahaalotecha.

Van Nuys, jedna z północnych dzielnic Los Angeles, poniedziałek ok. godziny 17. Dziennikarka jednej z telewizji rozmawia z kilkoma osobami zgromadzonymi przed sklepem spożywczym. Wszyscy z nich to Afroamerykanie, dwóch spośród mężczyzn trzyma dubeltówki. Jak wielu innych w okolicy, chronią Continue Reading

About Our Obligations to the Covenant

Thoughts on Parashat Bamidbar

This Sabbath we begin the Book of Numbers, in Hebrew Bamidbar (In the Desert). At the beginning of Parashat Bamidbar God asks Moses to conduct a census of the twelve tribes of Israel. Moses counts 603,505 men able to bear arms (20 to 60 years); the tribe of Levi, however, numbering 22,300 males aged one month and older, is counted separately. Almost Continue Reading

Thoughts on Parasha Behar-Bechukotai

How does the behavior of individual people determine the life of human communities? This very interesting question, which is especially relevant today, has been tackled by whole generations of philosophers dealing with social relations, by social scientists, social psychologists and other social sciences specialists throughout the centuries. Of course Continue Reading

Purifying the Realm of Order

Thoughts on Parashat Acharei Mot

Human beings dominated the world initially not by their physical power but by the power of intellect. The physical dominion came long after with the beginning of the modern industrial era. Over the centuries of this development we have gained more and more control over the natural environment and other living beings. By the forces of our intellect Continue Reading

The Bad Thing Happened. What’s Next?

Thoughts on Parashat Shemini

Pesach, the festival of freedom, has just ended. The concept of freedom is inextricably linked to the concept of choice. Life brings choices before us, maybe not all the time, but it does at least bring us in a position to choose. There are small choices and big choices. Small choices are usually easier to make because the consequences are less significant. Continue Reading

Freedom: Carved in Stone, but Not Given Unconditionally

Passover – a festival of freedom – has begun. The concept of freedom is one of those concepts that we might think we fully understand or at least know what they’re about. However, the limits of how we might understand freedom are not strictly defined; this is a wide-ranging and deep concept. Also, when we want to point to the essence of freedom, Continue Reading