Shelach 5773-2013

"Tzitzit: The Unpretentious Mitzvah"

Tzitzit, the mitzvah of wearing fringes on four-cornered garments, has many facets and multiple contemporary implications.

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B’ha’alot’cha 5773-2013

"Contemporary Implications of Ancient Rebellions"

In parashat B’ha’alot’cha, we read of two egregious rebellions that occurred on the heels of the momentous Revelation at Sinai. There is much to be learned from the timeless lessons that emerge from these episodes.

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Naso 5773-2013

“Playing the Subordinate Role: A Lesson from the Levites”

The commentators suggest that there is much to learn from the Gershonites and Merarites about how a person should view a seemingly subordinate role.

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Bamidbar-Shavuot 5773-2013

"The Invaluable Legacy of the Ancient Camp of Israel"

The counting of the People of Israel and the establishment of the tribal camps is one of the most important achievements in the long history of Judaism.

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Behar-Bechukotai 5773-2013

"The Value of a Woman"

As one would expect, in parashat Bechukotai, there is much discussion and controversy regarding the concept of valuing human beings, especially concerning the lower level at which women are valued.

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Emor 5773-2013

"Sanctifying G-d’s Name"

Chilul Hashem, the profanation of G-d’s name, is one of the most severe sins a Jew can commit, while sanctifying G-d’s name is one of the greatest mitzvot a Jew can perform.

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Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5773-2013

"The Sanctity of The Holy of Holies"

What is the role, function and mystique of the “Holy of Holies?”

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Tazria-Metzorah 5773-2013

"Ritual Impurity and Tzaraat: A Contemporary Understanding"

The Biblical texts of parashiot Tazria and Metzorah seem quite foreign to contemporary thinkers. It is possible, however, to interpret the challenging concepts reflected in these parashiot in a more contemporary light and in a manner that may be more palatable to modern thinkers.

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Shemini 5773-2013

“Authentic Religious Ecstasy”

Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik suggests that Aaron’s sons, Nadav and Abihu, were judged more harshly because they were in positions of leadership and punished more severely because they attempted to experience religious ecstasy through prohibited means.

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Passover II 5773-2013

“The Final Days of Passover: A Call For Modesty in Jewish Life”

When Moses and the people of Israel sang praises to G-d as they crossed the Red Sea, the Al-mighty chose to embrace the Israelites and betroth them despite the fact that they were wretched and filthy from the enslavement in Egypt.

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Passover 5773-2013

“Remembering the Exodus From Egypt”

The phrase “to remember the Exodus from Egypt” seems to appear everywhere one looks in Jewish life. Remembering the Exodus from Egypt is indeed a fundamental principle of Jewish life with abundant implications and ramifications.

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Vayikra 5773-2013

"Achieving Spiritual Ascendance Through Sacrifice"

Why do Jewish children begin their study of Torah with the complicated laws of sacrifice? What is ultimately achieved by the bringing of animal sacrifices?

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Vayakhel-Pekudei 5773-2013

"The Jewish Connection"

The minutely detailed architectural plans of the Tabernacle and the precise designs of the priestly vestments underscore the interconnectedness of all the vessels and vestments. Interconnectedness is a vital feature of human life, and a most profound element of the Jewish religion.

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Kee Tisah 5773-2013

“The Vengeful G-d--Revisited”

The last of the 13 Attributes of G-d’s mercy is that G-d will not completely cleanse sinners. Is the G-d of the Hebrew Bible a “vengeful G-d”?

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Tetzaveh 5773-2013

"The Centrality of Light"

Why does the commandment of lighting the candles appear at the beginning of this week’s parasha, rather than after the completion of the building of the Mishkan and the placement of the utensils?

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Terumah 5773-2013

"Form Over Content, or Content Over Form?"

Why did Moses change G-d’s instructions and direct Bezalel to first build the furnishings and vessels of the Tabernacle, and only then build the Tabernacle structure?

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Mishpatim 5773-2013

“Judaism’s Take on ‘Majority Rules’”

Parashat Mishpatim serves as the basis of much of Jewish jurisprudence. Many fundamental and revolutionary judicial principles (including “majority rules”) that have influenced legal systems the world over are introduced in this week’s parasha.

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Yitro 5773-2013

"The Third Commandment: Against Perjury and Profane Swearing"

The third commandment against perjury and profane swearing is often dismissed as “small stuff,” especially when compared to the "big-time" prohibitions against idolatry, adultery and murder. In reality, the third commandment is a key element in Judaism’s efforts to attain a truly moral, ethical and beneficial way of life.

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B’shalach 5773-2013

Why Israel Lost Faith at the Red Sea

A small verse, describing the Israelites’ panic at seeing the approaching Egyptian troops, reveals many significant lessons that help explain why Israel lost faith at the Red Sea.

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Bo 5773-2013

"Interfacing with the Non-Jewish World"

Moses boldly tells Pharaoh that not only will the Israelites not leave their flocks behind in Egypt when they depart, but that Pharaoh himself will donate flocks that will be used by the Israelites in their worship in the wilderness. This declaration raises many thorny issues about the use of non-Jewish resources in Jewish life.

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Va’eira 5773-2013

"The ‘Outstretched Arm’ and the ‘Mighty Hand’"

Why does the Al-mighty rescue Israel with both an “outstretched arm” and a “mighty hand”?

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Shemot 5773-2012

The Role of Exile in Jewish History

What is the role that Galut--exile--plays in the history of the Jewish people?

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0 Comments15 Minutes