Shoftim 5780-2020

"Security for Citizens and Caring for Guests”
(updated and revised from parashat Shoftim 5761-2001)

In parashat Shoftim, we encounter the ritual of Eglah Arufah, the ceremony in which a heifer is put to death. The ritual of Eglah Arufah, underscores that both city officials and hosts, have a responsibility of escorting visitors, to make certain that they can travel safely and securely from one city to another. Those who fail to provide security are held morally responsible. It applies to those who welcome visitors into their homes today as well.

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Vayeira 5780-2019

"The Preciousness of Hospitality"
(Updated and Revised from Vayeira 5760-1999)

While 99-year-old Abraham is recovering from his recent circumcision, he sees potential guests on the horizon. Despite his pain, he quickly runs toward the wayfarers and begs them not to pass by his tent without accepting his hospitality. There is much we can learn from Abraham’s manner of welcoming guests. It is essential that we not lose the capacity to properly perform the noble and ennobling mitzvah of “Hachnassat Orchim.”

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Vayeira 5771-2010

"Lessons from the Evil of Sodom"

The Torah tells us that when Lot went out to speak to his sons-in-law to tell them to leave Sodom, he seemed to them as if he were joking. We Jews face serious threats today as well. Let us not look upon these threats with skepticism as if to say that we are impervious to danger.

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Vayeira 5763-2002

"Sodom: The Home of Institutionalized Evil"

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in Sodom? Both the biblical texts and the accompanying Midrashic literature vividly describe the extraordinary evil practiced by people of Sodom, where virtue was declared vice and vice, virtue. Unfortunately, there are elements of Sodom that may be found in aspects of our contemporary society as well. If we are to protect ourselves from these harmful influences, we need to be on the alert and learn to identify those evil aspects.

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Shoftim 5761-2001

"Security for Citizens and Caring for Guests"

In parashat Shoftim, we encounter the ritual of eglah arufah, the ceremony of the heifer that is put to death. We learn from the ritual of eglah arufah, in which both city officials and hosts, in general, have a responsibility of escorting visitors and making certain that they can travel safely from one city to another. Those who fail to provide security, are held morally responsible. It applies for those who welcome visitors into their homes today as well.

Read More


0 Comments7 Minutes

Vayeira 5760-1999

"The Preciousness of Hospitality"

The 99-year-old Abraham is recovering from his recent circumcision when he sees potential guests on the horizon. Despite his pain, he quickly runs towards the wayfarers and begs them not to pass by his tent without accepting his hospitality. There is much to learn from Abraham's manner of welcoming guests. It is essential that we not lose the capacity to perform the important mitzvah of "Ha'chanasat Orchim."

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0 Comments10 Minutes