Kee Teitzei 5780-2020

“Polygamy and Jewish Tradition”
(Updated and revised from Kee Teitzei 5761-2001)
The Torah very clearly frowns on polygamous relationships. In every single instance in scripture where a man has more than one wife, the relationship is troubled. Why then does the Torah permit a man to have more than one wife, even though it’s discouraged?

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v’Zot Habracha-Simchat Torah 5776-2015

“The Confluence of v’Zot Habracha and the Holiday”

There is a strong connection between the festival of Simchat Torah and parashat v’Zot Habrachah. It is in this parasha that Moses proclaims that the Torah that Moses commanded to us is the heritage of the congregation of Jacob. What is the difference between a “heritage” and an “inheritance,” and how is this distinction transmitted through the celebration of Simchat Torah?

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0 Comments10 Minutes

Pinchas 5774-2014

“The Battle for Women’s Rights”

Especially among those who have limited familiarity with the original scriptural sources, it is often perceived that women are regarded by Jewish tradition as being submissive and subservient to men, eager to fulfill the men’s will. Rabbi Yaakov Philber shows that this is a thoroughly incorrect perception.

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0 Comments11 Minutes

Devarim 5772-2012

"The Al-mighty’s Relationship with the Nations of the World"

As the People of Israel conclude their 40 year trek through the wilderness, they emerge as a triumphant nation, having defeated the most powerful nations in the world. Nevertheless, Moses tells them in G-d's name that they must zealously respect the rights and privileges of the other nations as well.

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0 Comments13 Minutes

v’Zot Habracha-Simchat Torah 5770-2009

"The Confluence of v'Zot Habracha and the Holiday"

There is a strong connection between the festival of Simchat Torah and parashat v'Zot Habrachah. It is in this parasha that Moses proclaims that the Torah that Moses commanded to us is the heritage of the congregation of Jacob. What is the difference between a "heritage" and an "inheritance," and how is this distinction transmitted through the celebration of Simchat Torah?

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0 Comments10 Minutes

Devarim 5768-2008

"Establishing the Rightful Owners of the Land"

In parashat Devarim, the Torah goes into excruciating and puzzling detail concerning the nations who dwelt in the Land of Canaan. All this is done in order to emphasize the constant change of kingdoms and nations, underscoring that there never was one permanent owner to the land. It is undisputedly "G-d's land" to apportion according to His will--to the People of Israel.

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0 Comments9 Minutes

Matot-Masei 5764-2004

"The Mitzvah of Living in the Land of Israel"

In parashat Masei, G-d commands the Jewish people that when they enter the land of Canaan they are to drive out all the Canaanite inhabitants of the land, for G-d has given the land to the People of Israel to possess it. The ancient tradition holds that there are 613 mitzvot in the Torah. However, there is no definitive listing of those 613 mitzvot. Consequently, the question arises of whether there is an explicit Torah mitzvah to settle in the land of Israel or not. This question was an issue of great dispute between Maimonides and Nachmanides.

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0 Comments9 Minutes

Pinchas 5762-2002

"Loving the Land of Israel"

In parashat Pinchas we read about the five trail-blazing daughters of Tzelafchad who approach Moses claiming legal rights to their father's property in the land of Israel. The Al-mighty rewards the women's passionate commitment to Israel by declaring that the daughters shall inherit their father's land. How does Tzelafchad's daughters' great love of Zion compare with contemporary Jewry's, at best, casual commitment to the State of Israel?

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0 Comments8 Minutes

Kee Teitzei 5761-2001

"Polygamy and Jewish Tradition"

The Torah very clearly frowns on polygamist relationships. In every single instance in scripture where a man has more than one wife, the relationship is troubled. What then is the reason that the Torah permits a man to have more than one wife, even though it's discouraged?

Read More


0 Comments6 Minutes