The Error of Judging (Parashat D'varim)
This week's Torah portion speaks about the makings of great leaders and judges. They should be wise, understanding, known, able, God-fearing, truthful, and hate unjust gains. But can anyone live up to its image? Can anyone be all of these? Perhaps that's the point.
The Myth of the "Self-Made Man" (Parashat Matot-Maasei)
Much of American history and folklore is centered around the idea of the "self-made man." We believe that if we only try hard enough, we can succeed. Individually, we can pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and make something of ourselves. But our tradition understands this idea is myth. We need others and our gratitude should be outward focused