Vayeishev 5766-2005

"The Vast Majority of the Time, G-d Rules the World"

Although most of us live our lives under the assumption that we have freedom of will, there are times when G-d invokes a divine plan, requiring human beings to follow a preordained script. In parashat Vayeishev, we see the very dominant role that G-d plays in Joseph's life, and the inexorable fulfillment of the divine predictions found in the Covenant between the Pieces.

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Bamidbar 5763-2003

"The Role of the Levites, and the Service of Yeshiva Students in the Israeli Army"

The Tribe of Levi was not counted along with the men of the other tribes, since the Levites did not serve in the army of Israel. The Levites, in fact, served in the army of G-d. The role of the ancient Levites seems to justify the exemption of yeshiva students from the Israeli army. Should this ancient exemption influence the laws that are applied today?

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Shemot 5763-2002

"The Making of a Concerned Jewish Leader"

Who is the child Moses and how does he merit to become the "savior" of Israel? Both the biblical texts and the Midrashic elaborations give us hints to help us understand how a child who is raised in Pharaoh's court becomes a devoted and dynamic Jewish leader. The fact that he is raised by his biological mother, Yocheved, until he is weaned, is undoubtedly a critical factor. Although tradition is purposely ambiguous, Moses not only receives his rearing from his mother and his sister as a young child, but also from Bitya, the daughter of Pharaoh, who may very well be the secret heroine in Moses' life and consequently a key player in the destiny of the Jewish people.

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