Messages on Exodous

The Israelites are enslaved in Egypt. Moses receives the Ten Commandments. The Israelites build a tabernacle.

Rabbi O’s Weekly Parsha Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:20-30:10)

Diamond in the RoughYou shall place both stones on the shoulder straps of the ephod, remembrance stones for the Children of Israel. (Exodus 28:12)Moses was commanded to make garments for the Cohen Gadol— ‘high priest.’ Included in these was a piece of clothing similar to an apron called the ephod. It had two shoulder straps and held precious […]

Rabbi O’s Weekly Parsha: Teruma (Exodus 25:1-27:19)

Putting in Your Personal Touch Have you ever put together something from Ikea? Their instructions are a series of pictures without any accompanying explanatory text. It would have been helpful if we had been given even minimal textual prompts, but the decision was made that this is how they are going to instruct their customers, and […]

Rabbi O’s Weekly Parsha: Mishpatim (Exodus 21-24)

What’s Your Bribe Linguists are at a loss to find an origin for the word bribe. It was first used in 14th century old French, but it means “steal.” By the mid-15th century its meaning had shifted to “gift given to influence corruptly.” No one knows where “bribe” came from or how it ultimately came to have […]

Rabbi O’s Weekly Parsha: Yitro (Shemos /Exodus 18-20)

Unsung Heroes and Your Unique ContributionSince the breakout of the war, we have heard so many stories of heroism. Some involve a hero with a name and a picture. Some involve an anonymous hero who makes a donation or performs an act of chesed (kindness) and then disappears. And then there are stories that we never even […]

Rabbi O’s Weekly Parsha: Bo (Exodus 10:1-13:16)

Killing Your Options Syrian Jews have a custom to sing a Hebrew poem at a brit milah (circumcision).People worry about their wealth being, but not about their days fleeing         (Odam doeg al ibud domov v’einu doeg al ibud yomov)Money will not help their yearning; the days that pass will not be returning.    (Damov einum ozrim, yomav einum chozrim).Life is about making […]

Rabbi O’s Weekly Parsha: Vaeira (Exodus 6:2-9:35)

The Solution to Your Problem isn’t Complicated–It’s DifficultThe sinking of the Titanic on her maiden voyage was a great nautical catastrophe but the real tragedy is that it could have been avoided. One of the most foolish mistakes was that the ship’s radio operators received 21 warnings of ice, all of which were ignored. The Titanic serves a metaphor […]

Rabbi O’s Weekly Parsha: Shemos (Exodus 1:1-6:1)

To Thine Self Be True (Derech Eretz kadmah l’Torah) Imagine a U.S. army General telling a soldier on kitchen duty he would like to speak with him after dinner about an important covert mission. Would this soldier need permission from his Sergeant? Whether it is the head football coach changing a play or a CEO overruling a […]

Rabbi O’s Weekly:Vayakel-Pekudei (Exodus 35-40) (Parchas HaChodash)

Clever and Practical WomanJewish Women: Logical and Levelheaded Here’s the first Jewish fundraising initiative in history.Moses said to the entire assembly of the Children of Israel saying: This is the word that G-d commanded saying: Take from yourselves a portion  for G-d…everyone who is generous of heart shall bring it… (Ex. 35:4-5)When they started bringing contributions, a seemingly […]

Rabbi O’s Weekly Parsha: Ki Tisa (Exodus 30:11-34:35)

The Power of Experience After being liberated from Egypt and participating the Sinai experience, the Jews build a Golden Calf. Volumes have been written on this subject but we will discuss one seemingly small part of the story.Now it came to pass when he (Moses) drew closer to the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, that […]

Rabbi O’s Weekly Parsha: Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:20-30:10)

Diamond in the RoughYou shall place both stones on the shoulder straps of the ephod, remembrance stones for the Children of Israel. (Exodus 28:12)Moses was commanded to make garments for the Cohen Gadol—‘high priest.’ Included in these was a piece of clothing similar to an apron called the ephod. It had two shoulder straps and held precious gems […]

Rabbi O’s Weekly Parsha: Mishpatim (Exodus 21-24)

Close the Toothpaste! Imagine a couple standing under the chuppah googly-eyed and in love. The rabbi speaks about the beauty of marriage and the significance of the day. Then, all a sudden, the bride starts listing her set of rules for the marriage. “Make sure to close the toothpaste, keep the toilet seat down, take out the […]

Rabbi O’s Weekly Parsha: Yitro (Exodus 18-20)

Ultimate Unity      They journeyed from Rephidim and arrived at the Wilderness of Sinai and encamped in the Wilderness; and Israel encamped there, opposite the mountain. (Exodus 19:2) The old adage, two Jews- three opinions, is more than a clever observation regarding our tendency to disagree with one another, it’s also a subtle description of the difficulty […]

Rabbi O’s Weekly Parsha: Beshalach (Exodus 13:17-17:16)

Interested in Reaching Your Potential? Take Responsibility  Although the splitting of the Sea is one of the most significant events in Jewish history, few talk about the events immediately preceding it.  The tribes were arguing about who should leap first into the Sea, each attempting to avoid taking the first step. Finally, Nachshon from te of […]

Rabbi O’s Weekly Parsha: Shemot (Exodus 1:1-6:1)

Trust or Narcissism? After being told by G-d to return to Egypt and command Pharaoh to release the Jews, Moses says: ‘Please G-d, I am not a man of words, also not since the day before yesterday, nor since You first spoke to Your servant; for I am heavy of mouth and heavy of speech.’ (4:10) […]

Rabbi O’s Weekly Parsha:Lech-Lecha(Genesis 12-17

Whatever Happened to the Students of Abraham and Sara? In this week’s Parsha we are introduced to the first patriarch of the Jewish people, Abraham. G-d tells him to leave his father’s house, his relatives and his homeland. So Abram went as G-d had spoken to him and Lot went with him; Abram was 75 […]

Rabbi O ‘s Weekly Parsha: Pekudei (Exodus 38:21-40:3) Lessons from Dunkin Donuts

Lessons from Dunkin DonutsAnd they brought the Mishkan (Tabernacle) to Moses…When all the parts of the Mishkan (Tabernacle) had been made, they were brought to Moses, who actually stood the walls up and erected the Mishkan. Rashi quoting the Midrash explains that due to the massive weight of the materials, none of the people were able to raise it up, so they brought […]

Rabbi O’s Weekly Parsha: Ki Tisa (Exodus 30:11-34:35)

A Great Winter Experience for Wealthy People After being liberated from Egypt and witnessing the Sinai experience, the Jews build a Golden Calf. Volumes have been written on this subject but we will discuss one seemingly small part of the story. Now it came to pass when he (Moses) drew closer to the camp and saw the […]

Rabbi O’s Weekly Parsha : Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:20-30:10) Diamond in the Rough

Rabbi O’s Weekly Parsha : Tetzaveh(Exodus 27:20-30:10) Diamond in the Rough You shall place both stones on the shoulder straps of the ephod, remembrance stones for the Children of Israel. (Exodus 28:12) Moses was commanded to make garments for the Cohen Gadol—‘high priest.’ Included in these was a piece of clothing similar to an apron called the ephod. It […]

Rabbi O’s Weekly Parsha: Vaeira (Exodus 6:2-9:35)

How to Deal with an Unmanageable Life The Parsha begins with the Almighty telling Moses that He is the same G-d Who appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, that He has heard the cries of His persecuted nation and is aware of His covenant with them. Therefore say to the Children of Israel, “I am […]

Rabbi O’s Weekly Parsha: Vayakhel-Pekudei (Exodus 35-40) (Parshat HaChodesh)Unlocking Your Potential without Destroying It

Unlocking Your Potential without Destroying It[The following idea is from a classic 19th century Chassidic work called Mei HaShiloach (Living Waters) addressing one of life’s great challenges: On one hand we need to realize our significance and that we were created for a unique purpose but at the same time we should realize that our accomplishments ultimately come […]