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

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How now Red Cow?

Thoughts on parashat Chukat. 

“The limits of my language mean the limits of my world,” said Ludwig Wittgenstein, an Austrian-British philosopher of Jewish origin. Very true: it is often the case that we cannot truly understand a phenomenon until we have a linguistic representation. Continue Reading

The rebellion that must fail

Thoughts on parashat Korach.

This week’s Torah portion includes one of those not entirely clear stories, which are typically difficult to translate into modern language and modern mentality – the story of Korach and his dissent: 

Now Korah, son of Izhar son of Kohath son of Levi, Continue Reading

Be careful what you wish for, it might come true

Thoughts on parashat Shelach.

Our Torah portion for this week tells us a story of 12 spies sent by Moses to investigate the Promised land before conquering it. They return forty days later, carrying a huge cluster of grapes, a pomegranate and a fig, to report on a lush and bountiful land. But ten of the spies warn that Continue Reading

Catching eternity: a few words on Divine revelation. 

Thoughts on parashat Beha’alotcha.  

As the old joke goes, “Ask two Jews, you will get three opinions!”. Indeed, Judaism is a religion of intellectual pluralism and it itself resists monolithic interpretations in almost any area of human life and spirituality. Our religion Continue Reading

Judaism and booze

Thoughts on parashat Nasso.

One of the fundamental philosophical and at the same time practical problems underlying all religions is how to control things that are beyond our control. Therefore, throughout history intoxicants received religious, and often legal attention. One of Continue Reading

To do God’s work before He does it

Thoughts on parashat Bemidbar. 

Life sometimes puts us in difficult and complicated situations, in which we say to ourselves “it will be ok”, and then it turns out that what we feared the most becomes reality. It also happens that we are filled with enormous optimism in these difficult situations, which Continue Reading

Justice as a collective venture

Thoughts on parashat Bechukotai.

Our Torah portion for this week is called Bechukotai, which can be translated as “in my laws”. It starts with אם־בחקתי תלכו (im bechukotai telechu Continue Reading

To threaten the Heavens

Thoughts on parashat Emor.

Another year goes by and we have parashat Emor again. At the end of this Torah portion we find the following story:

There came out among the Israelites a man whose mother was Israelite and whose father was Egyptian. And a fight broke out in the camp between that Continue Reading

You shall be holy!

Thoughts on parashat Kedoshim.

Kedoshim tihiyu – You shall be holy (Leviticus 19:2) – thus begins parashat Kedoshim. What does it mean to be holy in Judaism? It means ve’yareta me’Elochecha Continue Reading

Self-esteem vs. self-awareness

 Thoughts on parashat Acharei Mot.

After the death of Aaron’s two sons, Nadav and Avihu, God instructs Moses regarding the atoning sacrifices to be offered by the kohanim on Yom Kippur:

God said to Moses: Tell your brother Aaron that he is not to come at will into the Shrine behind Continue Reading