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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 14, 2003 / 23 Iyar, 5764

Strivin'g's

By Rabbi Berel Wein


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The People of the Book's Book for the People


http://www.jewishworldreview.com | This Sabbath concludes the public reading of the book of Leviticus. There are a number of subjects that dominate the week's double Torah (Bible) portion, but a common, central theme in the selection is the concern for human beings, for justice and fairness and for an equitable society.


The ideas and mitzvas (religious duties) of shmita (the sabbatical year), the canceling of debts, jubilee, the return of property to original owners, the freeing of servants, and the support of the stranger and the alien living in our midst, are all meant to point the way to a more just and caring society.


The Torah is about people — human beings and their obligations and relationship one to another. Without that perspective of humanity that the Torah is built upon, this holy book would shrivel away into a mere law book instead of being the living guide for Jewish life and thought.


At the conclusion of the potion of B'Chukosai , the Torah discusses the "worth" of an individual. Even though this is seemingly only a complex and technical Jewish legal issue resting on the basis of a pledge of money to the Temple, it is symbolic of the far deeper issue of how we are to value the life and worth of another human being and of our own lives as well.


The Torah forbids us from sacrificing human life for a "cause." The Bolsheviks destroyed tens of millions of people and justified their murderous brutality by stating that it was all-necessary for the cause of Marxism-Leninism to triumph. The Torah, in contrast, treats human life very gingerly and sparingly. Having just completed the bloodiest century in human history, our society could certainly stand a strong dose of Torah humanity and perspective.


The Torah does not demonize the "other" amongst us and it requires us to look inwards into ourselves for sources and answers to problems and not to foist all blame for our ills and difficulties on hapless and innocent scapegoats. If we adopt the Torah's way of behavior and view of life then G-d promises us a much better life here on earth. If we persist in ignoring G-d's path then we are doomed to sadness and tears. This is also made explicit to us in B'Chukosai.

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The Torah reading concludes this week with the recitation of "chazak" — be strong — by the assembled congregation. Whenever we complete one of the books of Moses we recite "chazak." Part of the reason for this is that the Torah sets very high standards for us. It does not compromise its demands in order to soothe us into smug complacency. Therefore there could arise a tendency to become discouraged when comparing our actual state of behavior and the bar that the Torah has erected for us.


To counter this feeling of falling short we recite "chazak" and pledge ourselves with renewed strength to attempt to do better and have our behavior and life fall more in line with the Torah standards placed before us. We renew our commitment to be strong and to strengthen others in the task of building this better society and more harmonious world. The Torah is a book of optimism and hope. We know that we can do better and we will therefore do better in the future.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in uplifting articles. Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Rabbi Berel Wein is one of Jewry's foremost historians and founder of the Destiny Foundation. He has authored over 650 tapes, books and videos which you can purchase at RabbiWein.com. Comment by clicking here or calling 1-800-499-WEIN (9346).

© 2004, Rabbi Berel Wein