Bechukotai 5776-2016

“The Tochaycha–G-d’s Daunting Reproof of Israel"

The Tochaycha repeats the dire prediction that G-d will punish those who fail to abide by the Torah “sevenfold for their sins.” The Midrash maintains that there is a seven-step process for those who abandon the Al-mighty and walk away from Jewish life.

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Behar 5776-2016

“Bernie Sanders Meets Parashat Behar"

Among many important themes, parashat B'ha'a'lot'cha contains two fascinating stories about the Israelites in the wilderness. Both stories can be seen as a metaphor for contemporary Jewish life: Jews who feel that their "souls are dried up" and that Judaism has little or nothing to say to them, and Jews who love their Judaism and do not want to miss out on the wonderful benefits of living a full Jewish life.

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Emor 5776-2016

“The Sabbath: Meeting G-d"

What the Tabernacle/Temple is in space, the Sabbath and festivals are in time. They are both intended to unite G-d with His people

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Kedoshim 5776-2016

“Tattoos"

Parashat Kedoshim includes the prohibition of making cuts on one’s skin as a sign of mourning and forbids the drawing of permanent tattoos on the body.

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Acharei Mot 5776-2016

“Never Give Up Hope"

The Torah boldly declares that the Al-mighty dwells amidst His people Israel even amidst their impurity. Like G-d, we must never give up hope on anyone.

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Passover II 5776-2016

“The Final Days of Passover: Love and Hope"

The final days of Passover are a precursor to the “End of Days.” They reflect the hope that the Messianic days are at hand, when peace will prevail on earth and when Israel’s special love relationship with G-d Al-mighty will be fully restored.

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Passover I 5776-2016

“The Children, The Children!”

The order of the Passover Hagaddah is unusually complex. The Malbim explains that there is a fundamental message that the Haggadah is trying to convey that accounts for the unusual order of the text.

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Metzorah 5776-2016

“G-d Has Pity on the Property of Israel”

The Kohen who comes to inspect the house that may be afflicted with Tzara’at (the spiritual/dermatological disease), orders that all the home’s furnishings be removed prior to the inspection. Our sages teach that this is done because the Al-mighty has pity on the possessions of Israel.

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Tazria 5776-2016

“Heavenly Reminders”

It is from parashat Tazria that we learn that we dare not disregard even a simple Bohak, a non-defiling discoloration of the skin. G-d continuously sends us messages. We must keep our eyes and ears open constantly to recognize them, hear them, and properly respond to them

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Shemini 5776-2016

“Good Intentions Gone Awry”

The sons of Aaron, Nadav and Abihu, apparently had noble intentions, but they allowed their zeal to lead them astray, resulting in their tragic punishment.

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Tzav 5776-2016

“Dressing Properly for Special Occasions”

The Kohanim (priests) are required to change their priestly garments when performing menial parts of the service, such as removing the ashes from the altar. Tradition teaches us to respect our garments and to dress properly for each occasion

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Vayikra 5776 -2016

“The Gifts of the Kohanim-the Priests”

One of the important lessons of animal sacrifices is that even “fundraising” expenses are holy and serve an important purpose.

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Pekudei 5776-2016

“The Mishkan--the Tabernacle, as Collateral”

The Mishkan, the Tabernacle, is not only the home of the Divine Presence. It also serves as critical collateral to ensure the survival of the Jewish people.

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Vayakhel 5776-2016

“The Wise-Hearted Person”

The Torah’s understanding of wisdom is a far cry from the contemporary understanding of wisdom and the measurement of Intelligence Quotients. The Al-mighty did not want His “house” to be built by the most skilled workmen or the most intelligent workmen. The house of G-d needed to be built by “Chachmei lev,” by wise-hearted people who were warm-hearted and prepared to invest their very hearts and souls into the dwelling place which would be the focus of the Divine Presence.

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Kee Tisah 5776-2016

“Moses Pleads on Behalf of the People of Israel”

It is very likely, that it is only due to the merit of Moses, who pleaded to G-d on behalf of the Jewish people that they be forgiven for the sin of the Golden Calf, that our nation has been consistently graced with G-d’s forgiveness.

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Tetzaveh 5776-2016

"Feeling the Pain of Others who are in Need"

Just as the Torah instructs the High Priest to wear the Breastplate on his heart, so must each Jew feel the pain of those who are in need.

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Terumah 5776-2016

“Charity–the Only True Possession”

Parshat Terumah teaches that the only eternal possessions are those that are given away as charitable gifts.

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Mishpatim 5776-2016

“Jewish Women and Conjugal Rights”

The Torah regards the act of providing one’s wife with sexual pleasure as a foremost requirement of marriage.

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Yitro 5776-2016

“Apparently, Not All Converts are Created Equal”

Apparently, not all converts are created equal. Jethro represents the best of all the converts, and serves as a true paradigm for future generations.

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B’shalach 5776-2016

“The Small ‘Stuff’ is not Always Small”

Even the most seemingly “insignificant” Torah verses teach profound lessons.

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Bo 5776-2016

“How Impactful was the Plague of Locusts?”

The plague of locusts is unique among the ten plagues that were visited upon the Egyptians, because it contained a message for Pharaoh, for the Egyptians and for the People of Israel, as well. How impactful was the plague of locusts?

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Va’eira 5776-2016

“The Lessons of Genealogy”

The genealogy of Moses and Aaron teaches many important principles about life, and provides insightful life lessons for all to master.

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Shemot 5776-2016

"By What Right Does Moses Kill The Egyptian?”

The commentators are perplexed by Moses’ extremely aggressive response to the Egyptian who was beating the Hebrew. By what authority did Moses take the life of the Egyptian?

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