Bamidbar 5780-2020

"Jewish Continuity through Family Structure”
(Updated and revised from Bamidbar 5761-2001)

G-d’s profound love for the Jewish people impels Him to continually count them, as one who counts a prized possession or money. Since families are the glue, the cement, of society, G-d set the ancient Israelites in an exacting tribal and familial structure in the wilderness. However, as the contemporary nuclear family erodes, the devastating breakdown of society is not far behind. We pray that G-d will soon restore all people to their proper tents, and especially the Jews to their tribes and to their familial orderliness, so that we, and all of humankind, may be strengthened and soon redeemed.

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Kedoshim 5779-2019

“The Revolutionary Idea of ‘Holiness’”
(Revised and updated from Kedoshim 5760-2000)

In parashat Kedoshim, we learn much about the revolutionary idea that the Torah introduced into civilization–-the concept of kedusha--“holiness.” As the Torah boldly declares, “You shall be holy, for I, the L-rd your G-d am holy.” Unless one subscribes to the belief that every human is holy and a reflection of the Divine, there is really no limit to the extent of depravity and immorality to which humans may sink.

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Naso 5773-2013

“Playing the Subordinate Role: A Lesson from the Levites”

The commentators suggest that there is much to learn from the Gershonites and Merarites about how a person should view a seemingly subordinate role.

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Kedoshim 5771-2011

“Judaism’s Radical Notion of Holiness”

In the closing verses of this week’s parasha, G-d calls out to His people: “And you shall be holy to Me because I, your L-rd, am holy.” This is the ultimate human challenge--and the ultimate human calling.

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Kedoshim 5765-2005

"Living a Sanctified Life"

The revolutionary concept of living a sanctified life might seem daunting, but in reality it is a goal to be aspired to by every Jew. The exalted concept of being G-d-like is not out of the realm of human possibility.

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Pinchas 5763-2003

"Can a Perfect G-d Sin?"

In the long list of sacrifices that appears in parashat Pinchas, we learn of the sin offering that is brought on Rosh Chodesh, the new moon sacrifice. In Numbers 28:15, the Torah instructs the priest to bring one he-goat "for a sin offering unto the Lord." However, the Hebrew "l'cha'taht la'Hashem" really means "a sin offering for G-d." The Talmud in Chullin 60b suggests that each month a sin offering is brought for G-d as an atonement for G-d's "sin" of reducing the size of the moon. There is much to learn from G-d's "sin offering."

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Bamidbar 5761-2001

"Continuity Through Family Structure"

G-d loves the Jewish people so much that He continually counts them like one counts a prized possession or money. The Jewish family is the glue, the cement of Jewish life. However, as the nuclear family erodes, the devastating breakdown of Jewish life is not far behind.

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Kedoshim 5760 – 2000

"The Revolutionary Idea of Holiness"

In parashat Kedoshim we learn much about the magical and revolutionary idea that the Torah introduced into civilization-- the concept of "holiness." As the Torah says, "You shall be holy for I the L-rd your G-d am holy." Unless one subscribes to the belief that every human is holy and a reflection of the Divine, there is really no limit to the extent of depravity and immorality to which humans may sink.

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0 Comments9 Minutes