Commentary  Thinking Torah

Expert analysis and personal insights on today’s Jewish topics.


The relationship of Joseph and his brothers continues the deeply painful previous sibling rivalries of the three Patriarchal and Matriarchal families.


In order to understand the evil that is racism he wanted to study the greatest evil, the systematic destruction of European Jewry.

Poupko Seder Party

Pesach expresses the essential foundation of Jewishness. As time goes on it becomes ever more compelling that Jewish national history begins in each family, and begins at a family meal and not in a national assembly. Sinai has to wait for the Jewish family.

We Jews, in all our variety, are in the main, hide-bound traditionalists.

Self Torah Art

The sovereign-self makes life’s most basic decisions based on what it is that feels good and hopefully doesn’t hurt anyone. Nevertheless, Yom Kippur is the holiday of the true sovereign-self.

My grandfather did not have a Jewish identity. He was just Jewish. One has a Jewish identity only in the modern period when identity choices are at hand; when one can engage in identity construction. Our culture is characterized by the identity wars. However, the Jewish grappling with the meaning of Jewishness is not new. 

As we approach Israel Independence Day, this leads to a great lesson. Zionism is a “Jewish anti-Jewish revolution.”

When a great ritual or a great book have an organizing principal, in this case the number four, that organizing principal helps the participants move from step to step in a predictable way. 

Singer of Israel

I believe that in the merit of my friend’s prayers so much good has come to all of us.

Critique of any democratic government is at the heart of democracy. 

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