Korach 5768-2008

"Datan and Abiram: The Protagonists"

Datan and Abiram, two members of the tribe of Reuben, are caught up in the rebellion of Korach and are swallowed along with Korach when the earth opens. The Midrash sees Datan and Abiram as the paradigm of effrontery, rebellion, and brazenness, the ultimate ingrates who devote their lives to undermining Moses and the authority of G-d.

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Shelach 5767-2007

"The Ma'ah'peelim: Forcing Their Way Into the Promised Land"

Because of the evil reports of the ten scouts recorded in parashat Shelach, G-d decrees that the generation of the wilderness shall not enter the land of Israel. Nevertheless, the next morning, a large group of people arise early to force their way up the mountain toward Canaan and are smitten by the Amalekites and the Canaanites. These rebels are known as the "Ma'ah'peelim." Why were they not allowed into the land of Israel, and why were they punished so severely?

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Tzav 5762-2002

"Understanding Shabbat Hagadol"

Our commentators offer a host of reasons to explain why the Sabbath prior to Passover is called by the grand name "Shabbat Hagadol," the Great Sabbath. Whatever the reason for this Sabbath to be given such a distinguished name, it is always a very special Sabbath for the Jewish people.

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