Sunday 20 September 2015

United with Israel: Beyond ‘United with Israel’

A lesson from Yom Kippur that is beyond ‘United with Israel’. Please see

I am sure this will also be up on the UWI Facebook page in the near future. Please feel free to comment here or on one of the UWI sites.

Rabbi Ben Hecht

Sunday 13 September 2015

The Psalm and the Shofar: A Thought for Rosh Hashanah

first posted September 24, 2014

Douglas Aronin:

«... It was Korach who conspired with Dathan and Abiram of the tribe of Reuben to lead a rebellion against Moses.  Dissatisfied with the honor of performing the duties reserved for the Levites, Korach accused  Moses of usurping the leadership and priestly roles for himself and his brother Aaron.  (Numbers 16:3).  As a result of Korach's challenge to the leadership of Moses, the earth opened up and swallowed him and his followers, including Dathan and Abiram and their households (16:28-34).

In telling the story of Korach (Numbers chaps 16-17), the Torah makes no mention of the fate of his sons.  Only later in the book, in the course of reporting the results of the census taken of the Jewish people in anticipation of their entry into the Land of Israel, does the Torah mention them specifically.  The Torah at that point relates the census of the tribe of Reuben, including the branches of that tribe that would have come from Dathan and Abiram.  The Torah then relates:  "These are the same Dathan and Abiram, chosen in the assembly, who agitated against Moses and Aaron as part of Korach's band when they agitated against the Lord.  Whereupon the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up with Korach …The sons of Korach, however, did not die." (26:9-11, JPS translation).

Why didn't the sons of Korach die?» 

The Psalm and the Shofar: A Thought for Rosh Hashanah | Douglas Aronin | The Blogs | The Times of Israel

Kol Tuv,

Sunday 6 September 2015

JVO Blog: The Distinctiveness of Judaism -- Sdom in Context (or The Surprising Evil of Ideology)

Jewish Values Online ( is a website that asks the Jewish view on a variety of issues, some specifically Jewish and some from the world around us -- and then presents answers from each of the denominations of Judaism. Nishmablog's Blogmaster Rabbi Wolpoe and Nishma's Founding Director, Rabbi Hecht, both serve as Orthodox members of their Panel of Scholars. Nishmablog, over the years, has also featured the responses on JVO by one of our two Nishma Scholars who are on this panel. 

Recently, the Jewish Values Online website has offered a new service -- a blog which presents comments on various topics within Judaism and the Jewish world. See

Rabbi Hecht is now also a blogger on this site and will be developing a series entitled  
The Distinctiveness of Judaism

His Third post  
The Surprising Evil of Ideology (JVO's title which is fine with RBH)
is now available at

A link is also up on Facebook at