Unless otherwise noted, "This week's Parsha" comprises articles taken from contributors to the Chabad.org website. We show the original author's name here, so that proper attribution is given. For the sake of brevity, footnotes cited in the original author's writings are omitted from this website. If you need to see the citations, please refer to the original articles on the Chabad.org website.
Get Back into Class!
You enjoyed preschool, you persevered through elementary school, you survived high school, and you even pulled yourself through college. Finally, you were done with study, and the time had come for you to enter the "real world" (wherever that is…).
When you walked out of the school building for the last time, and entered cloud nine where there are no classes, no strict teachers and no "How will algebra help me in my life?", you might have made a silent commitment to free yourself from the bondage of study for all eternity.
Letting Go of Hate
Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness . . .
Martin Luther King
I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.
James Arthur Baldwin
There is a verse in Ki Teitzei momentous in its implications. It is easy to miss, appearing as it does in the midst of a series of miscellaneous laws about inheritance, rebellious sons, overladen oxen, marriage violations and escaping slaves. Without any special emphasis or preamble, Moses delivers a command so counter-intuitive that we have to read it twice to make sure we have heard it correctly:
The Human Traffic Sign
I saw him this past spring as I was walking to the synagogue on a hot Shabbat morning in Los Angeles. He was standing at the entrance of a strip mall that I was passing, his front and back covered by identical, cumbersome cardboard signs advertising an absolutely fantabulous sale by one of the stores in the mall. He was still there a few hours later when I returned from the synagogue, several empty water bottles lying at his feet.
It got me thinking. Even if this person was being paid only minimum wage, it would almost certainly be more economical for the store owner to go to Staples and order a standard print sign. Why the need for the human advertisement?