Ten Minutes of Torah

Mining Diamonds in the Land of Milk and Honey

February 11, 2015
By Anat Hoffman Israel is not rich in natural resources: no oil ($50/barrel) or diamonds ($10,000/karat); only milk ($3.80/gallon) and honey ($10/16-ounces). This means that human resources are our biggest asset. Israeli men and women are who stand between Israel and its enemies, and who can transform dessert into fertile land. Every Israeli is essential in the effort to meet our country's many challenges. How then can Israel allow itself to silence, segregate, ignore, and discriminate against more than half (51%) of its human resources – Israeli women?

Today Matters: Make It Count

January 14, 2015
By Rabbi Josh Weinberg
“This is the day that the Lord has made – let us exult and rejoice on it.” -Psalms 118:24
During the years I taught Jewish history on our Movement’s NFTY-EIE high school semester abroad program, at the end of each semester I would ask my students this question: “What are the top five most important moments or dates in Jewish history?” With great consistency they would cite similar moments―the giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai, the unification of Jerusalem as our fledgling nation’s capital under King David, the destruction of the Second Temple on the 9tn of Av 70 CE, and, in a jump to modernity, the outbreak of WWII and the establishment of the State of Israel. Those 10th-12th graders were always eager to “pass the test” and prove that they had a solid grasp on the 4,000 years of history we’d covered in a relatively short period.

What’s Jewish About These Laws?

December 10, 2014
By Rabbi Josh Weinberg
May it be Thy will, my God and the God of my fathers, to protect me against the impudent and against impudence, from bad men and bad companions, from severe sentences and severe plaintiffs, whether a son of the covenant or not. - The

The Real Hannah Senesh

November 12, 2014
By Josh Weinberg It was 70 years ago this week, according to the Hebrew calendar, that a young Jewish girl named Hannah Senesh was executed by firing squad by the Hungarian-Nazi police force. She had been captured after parachuting into Europe with a group of Jewish paratroopers of the Haganah who were sent to rescue Jews from the Nazi war machine.

If Not Now, When? NFTY’s Role in Freeing Soviet Jews

November 4, 2014
by Rachel Mersky Woda Growing up in a Reform Jewish household meant that you learned at an early age the value of tikkun olam, repairing the world. In our home, we were surrounded by opportunities for activism, and the one that occupied us for years was the plight of the Jews in  Russia. In the early 1980s, those of us preparing to become b’nai mitzvah were paired with a “twin,” a Russian refusenik (one who was refused a visa to exit the USSR) who didn’t have the opportunity to achieve this milestone. It was up to us to prepare for this important day with our twins standing on our shoulders so we could enter the Jewish community as young adults in their honor as well.