Lech Lecha 5780-2019

“Understanding the Ritual of Circumcision”
(updated and revised from Lech Lecha 5760-1999)

The ritual of circumcision, performed on the eighth day on the flesh of the Jewish male, has always been the fundamental mark of identity for the Jewish man. There are those who say that the letting of blood during the circumcision is a constant reminder that the Jewish people must live by their blood. It may also mean that whether the Jewish people live or die will be determined by the organ that is circumcised. After all, Jewish destiny depends upon how the Jewish males choose to use their sexual organ.

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Devarim 5775-2015

“Looking Through the Pain, Toward a Bright Future”

Despite having endured more than forty years of hardship and struggle, and having every reason to be angry and bitter, Moses, nevertheless, conveys an inspiring message of hope to the new and future generations of Israel.

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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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Behar-Yom Ha’atzmaut 5771-2011

"A State is not Delivered on a Silver Platter"

One of the most moving stories to be told regarding the contemporary State of Israel, concerns a great European rabbi, Rabbi Yisroel Zeev Gustman and a famed professor of economics, Robert J. Aumann.

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Bo 5770-2010

"Finding Favor in the Eyes of the Egyptians"

The Torah reports that G-d caused the Jews to find favor in the eyes of the Egyptians. What was the purpose of this act, and what was its effect upon both the people of Israel and the Egyptians?

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Noah 5770-2009

"The Message of the Rainbow"

What is the origin of the rainbow that the Al-mighty showed the survivors of the Great Flood? What is the symbolic meaning of this beautiful natural phenomenon?

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Va’etchanan-Tisha B’Av 5768-2008

"A Hopeful Message for Jewish Future"

In parashat Va’etchanan, we find the well-known citation, “Kee to’leed ba’neem,” which is read on Tisha B’Av. It predicts that the Jewish people will stray from G-d and commit horrible sins. And yet, in one of the most optimistic statements, G-d assures His people that they will always be welcomed back with open arms, no matter how far they stray.

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Bo 5768-2008

"Is This What You Call Borrowing?"

The Torah tells us that the former Jewish slaves borrowed gold and silver utensils and garments from their Egyptian neighbors, emptying out Egypt. Couldn't the Al-mighty have found a better way to fulfill the Abrahamitic promise that the Jews would leave their exile, slavery and persecution with great wealth?

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Vayeitzei 5768-2007

"How Dare You Accuse Me!"

When Laban accuses Jacob of stealing his teraphim (household idols), Jacob confidently responds: "With whomever you find your gods, that person shall not live." How is it possible for Jacob to be so certain that there was not a single thief among his family members or servants?

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Bereshith 5768-2007

"Starting All Over--Again!"

Many students of the Bible are under the misconception that the five books of Moses come to teach history or theology. The Torah is essentially a book of morality and ethics whose purpose is primarily to explain the very special covenental relationship that G-d has with the People of Israel. The story of creation and the entire book of Genesis come to affirm and elucidate that special relationship between G-d and His people.

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Mishpatim 5766-2006

"We Will Do and We Will Obey"

Although most of parashat Mishpatim deals with the administration of civil justice, the end of the parasha returns to the theme of the Divine Revelation, where the people pronounce "Na'ah'seh v'nish'mah," we will do and we will obey. More than obey, "nishmah" means "we will understand." It is this struggle for understanding that is perhaps most relevant to Jewish observance in the 21st century.

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Tazria-Metzorah 5764-2004

"Circumcision and Shabbat"

When the prescribed day for a circumcision falls out on the Shabbat, which commandment takes precedence? In the answer found in parashat Tazria, we discover the true essence of both these mitzvot, and how they each bind us to G-d and to eternity.

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Lech Lecha – 5760-1999

"Understanding the Rite of Circumcision"

The ritual of circumcision, performed on the flesh of the Jewish male, has always been the fundamental mark of identity for the Jewish man. There are those who say that the letting of blood during the circumcision is a constant reminder that the Jewish people must live by their blood. It may also mean that the Jewish people live (or die) by the organ that is circumcised. After all, Jewish destiny depends upon how the Jewish male chooses to use his sexual organ. If Jewish men marry Jewish women and build strong Jewish families, then the covenant of G-d and the Jewish people will be affirmed. If, however, Jewish males allow themselves to be seduced and proceed to sow in foreign fields, then the covenant between G-d and the Jewish people is not only threatened, but may very likely be lost forever.

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0 Comments8 Minutes