Va’eira 5774-2013

“Moses, the Reluctant Prophet”

How could any mortal refuse the Al-mighty’s mission, especially when G-d sends Moses to redeem His people, whom Moses loves so dearly?

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Shemot 5774-2013

“G-d Recognizes His People's Sufferings”

What was it that G-d saw in the behavior of the People of Israel that caused the Al-mighty to respond to the people’s cries at this particular time?

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Vayechi 5774-2013

“Reconciliation and Death”

The Midrash greatly embellishes the final chapters of Genesis by adding fascinating details regarding the reconciliation of Joseph with his brothers and Joseph’s demise.

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Vayigash 5774-2013

“The Dreams and the Divine Covenant”

As Jacob’s entire family bows down before Joseph, all of Joseph’s dreams finally come true. But not only Joseph’s dreams come to fruition, the prophesies and predictions of the Covenant between the Pieces have also begun to be realized.

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Mikeitz 5774-2013

"What’s in a Name? Zaphenath-Paneach"

While it is necessary for Pharaoh to add to Joseph’s public stature by dressing him as a noble Egyptian, why was it necessary for Pharaoh to rename Joseph?

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Vayeishev 5774-2013

"Reuben is Credited with Saving Joseph’s Life"

Why was Reuben credited by scripture for saving Joseph’s life, when it was really Judah who advised the brothers to sell Joseph rather than kill the lad?

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Vayishlach 5774-2013

"The Death of Deborah, Rebecca’s Nurse"

The report of the death of Deborah, Rebecca’s nursemaid, is a source of contention among the commentators.

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Vayeitzei 5774-2013

"Jacob Separates from Laban"

There is much to learn from the complex separation process that takes place between Jacob and his wily father-in-law, Laban.

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Toledot 5774-2013

“A Revolutionary Definition of Parenthood”

In his comments on parashat Toledot, Rabbi Joseph B. Soleveitchik attributes to Abraham the introduction of a bold and extraordinarily novel concept of parenthood -- the “teaching parent.”

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Chayei Sarah 5774-2013

"Yitzchak Establishes a Home with His New Wife"

The betrothal of Isaac and Rebecca can serve as a most valuable case study for finding a mate and establishing a successful home environment.

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Vayeira 5774-2013

“Greater than Welcoming the Divine Presence”

Is welcoming guests a greater mitzvah than welcoming the Divine Presence? Perhaps they are of equal value?

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Lech Lecha 5774-2013

“Setting the Stage for the Jewish Future”

Our sages say that the deeds of the forefathers are signposts for the children. The story of Abraham and Sarah are truly predictive of both future Jewish history and contemporary Jewish life.

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Noah 5774-2013

"Making a Name for Ourselves"

The narrative of the Tower of Babel represents a profound protest against human hubris and over-confidence.

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Bereshith 5774-2013

"Beginning at the Beginning–-Again"

While some may argue that the Torah’s primary purpose is to report the history and development of the Jewish people, tradition argues that its primary function is to record and confirm the establishment of the covenant between G-d, the Jewish people and the land of Israel.

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Sukkot 5774-2013

"Half for You, and Half for G-d"

The Jewish festivals of Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot are intended to be shared celebrations. Half is to be devoted to the celebrants and half to the Al-mighty.

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Yom Kippur 5774-2013

Chesbon Hanefesh – Introspection”

The marvelous Hebrew term, Chesbon Hanefesh, means taking an accounting of one’s soul, and sitting in spiritual judgment of oneself. The High Holy Days are a most propitious time for “Chesbon Hanefesh” that must not be frittered away.

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Haazinu-Rosh Hashana 5774-2013

"Jewish Normal, Is Not Very Normal"

We live in remarkable times, anomalous times, times that have no precedent in all of Jewish history. Our current experiences with relative peace and tranquility can hardly be called “Jewish normal.”

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Nitzavim-Vayeilech 5773-2013

"They’re Not Laughing At Me Anymore!"

In the spirit of the powerful message that Moses delivered to the Jewish people at the end of his life, regarding the validity of the traditional Jewish lifestyle, I would like to share an essay that I composed several years ago, “They’re Not Laughing At Me Anymore!”

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Kee Tavo 5773-2013

"Not Rushing to Judgment"

There are usually two sides to every story. We must always listen to, and carefully analyze, both sides, before jumping to what may be incorrect conclusions.

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Kee Teitzei 5773-2013

"The ‘Mitzvah’ of Divorce, Revisited"

While stability in family life is a much hoped-for ideal, Judaism was remarkably ahead of its time in understanding that an unhappy husband or wife can sometimes not be reconciled, and that marriages must, at times, be terminated.

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Shoftim 5773-2013

“Egypt: Off Limits to Jews”

The Torah prohibition against residing in Egypt is more than a concern with the immorality of the ancient Egyptian culture. It is intended to serve as a warning to all Jews against residing in any locale where immoral living prevails.

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Re’eh 5773-2013

"How Far Must We Go to Avoid Evil?"

How far must contemporary Jews go to separate from the “new paganism,” from the new evils that not only confront us, but seem bent on consuming us?

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Eikev 5773-2013

"Eating Bread Without Poverty"

How is it possible for G-d to assure the people who reside in the Land of Israel that they will lack nothing?

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Va’etchanan 5773-2013

"Behold the Beauty of the Land"

Moses pleads with G-d to allow him to enter the Promised Land to see the “good land,” the “good mountain” and “the Lebanon.” What exactly was Moses hoping to accomplish with this fervent plea?

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Devarim 5773-2013

"The Price of Disunity"

Disunity among the people most often leads to a complete breakdown of society, an absence of moral awareness and concern, and, ultimately, to utter destruction.

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Matot-Masei 5773-2013

“Pinchas Avenges the Midianites”

Why is the zealous Pinchas chosen to lead the people of Israel into battle against the Midianites?

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Pinchas 5773-2013

“The Lesson of the Broken Vav

A most unusual scriptural anomaly is found in the verse in which G-d confers upon the zealous Pinchas the blessing of a “Covenant of Peace.” The letter “vav” in the Hebrew word “Shalom,” peace, is broken. What is the reason for this broken letter?

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Balak 5773-2013

"Balaam’s Second Vision: Lo, a People that Rises Like a Lion"

The commentators differ widely on the meaning of Balaam’s second vision, in which Balaam compares the Jewish people to a young lion who leaps up and does not rest until it has feasted on its prey.

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Chukat 5773-2013

"Striking the Stone: the Parameters of Anger"

How lethal is anger? Moses and Aaron lost their opportunity to enter the Promised Land because of a single display of anger.

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Korach 5773-2013

“The Rebellion Against the Lonely Leader”

What sparked the rebellion against Moses? Why was this great man the lonely leader of Israel?

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0 Comments9 Minutes