Shoftim 5779-2019

“War, the Jewish Community and Jewish Family Life”
(Revised and updated from Shoftim 5760-2000)

The Torah looks upon the duty of a husband to bring happiness to marriage as a sacred duty, not only for individual happiness, but also for the national well-being. For that reason, for an entire year after marrying, the newlywed husband is free from all public services and duties, even service in the army. This exemption will, hopefully, result in laying a strong foundation for not only individual family life, but will ensure the strength and success of the entire Jewish community.

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Vayikra 5770-2010

"Do Leaders Corrupt, or are They Corrupted?"

The first sin offering that is recorded in parashat Vayikra is the offering of the anointed priest. Regarding this sacrifice, an unresolved dispute comes to the surface, raising the issue of whether it is the leaders who lead the people astray or whether leaders are corrupted by their followers.

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Kee Tavo 5766-2006

"Respect for the Person and the Office"

In the ceremony of the bringing of the Bikurim, the first fruits, the Torah tells us that the farmer shall come to the Priest who "shall be in those days." From these added words, the rabbis learn that we must treat the contemporary Priest with great respect, even though he may not measure up to the standards of the Priests of old. The Torah teaches us to respect not only the person of the Priest, but the office of the Priesthood as well. It is an important message for contemporary America, with many ramifications concerning the future of our country.

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Shelach 5765-2005

"Bread Alone"

On the heels of the grievous sin of the scouts, G-d forbids an entire generation of men, 20 years old and up, to enter the land of Israel. Strangely, the story of the scouts is followed immediately by two Torah portions that focus specifically on Israel--sacrifice and libations, and the giving of challah. The law of challah required that a portion of dough from every loaf of bread that is baked be given to the Priest. This gift of challah, underscores the primacy of sustaining our teachers and spiritual leaders and maintaining the excellence of Jewish education throughout the generations, even in the diaspora.

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Emor 5765-2005

"Priests and Death: An Unusual Relationship"

In parashat Emor, the commentators explain why a lay priest may contaminate himself upon the death of his closest seven relatives, but may not be defiled for the death of strangers. Through the laws of death, the Torah teaches the Jewish people the infinite value of life.

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Tazria 5763-2003

"Tzaraat--The Spiritual Dermatological Disease"

According to Jewish tradition, the primary cause of the affliction tzaraat is lashon hara, speaking evil or slanderously of others. In ancient times, when one would speak evil of another person, a rash or infection would appear on the belongings or on the body of the perpetrator. On the surface, the assertion that one can develop a hideous skin rash from speaking evil seems quite preposterous, yet, there are many precedents for such things in life, science, and medicine.

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Shoftim 5760-2000

"War, the Jewish Community and Jewish Family Life"

The Torah looks upon the duty of a husband to bring happiness to marriage, not only for individual happiness, but also for the national well-being, as a sacred duty. For that reason, for an entire year after marrying, the husband is freed from all public services and duties, even service in the army. The exemption will hopefully result in the laying of a strong foundation for family life, as well as a fundamental means of strengthening the community.

Read More


0 Comments9 Minutes