Eikev 5765-2005

"Understanding Birkat Hamazon, the Grace After Meals"

Parashat Eikev contains the verse that serves as the source of the mitzvah mandating the reciting of Birkat Hamazon--the Grace after Meals. What is the purpose of the Grace after Meals? Furthermore, how can a lowly mortal hope to bless or acknowledge the source of his food?

Read More


0 Comments7 Minutes

Pinchas 5761-2001

"The Pain of Giving Reproof"

The haftarah for parashat Pinchas, selected from the book of Jeremiah, opens with Jeremiah's first two prophecies concerning an almond-wood staff that is shown to him by G-d, and the boiling cauldron that is bubbling over from its northern side. The meaning of the cauldron is that the evil will come from the north--the Babylonian hoards, led by Nebuchadnetzer who will destroy the temple. But what is the symbol of the almond-wood staff? Could it be that G-d is trying to show the prophet that there should be no enthusiasm in the prophet's reproof, no matter how deserving the people of Israel are of reproof? Conveying tragic messages should always be a painful experience for the prophet.

Read More


0 Comments8 Minutes

Vayeira 5761-2000

"Mount Moriah: Build for the Future through Love"

The place where G-d tells Abraham to sacrifice Isaac is known as Mount Moriah. This place, located in the heart of Jerusalem, is where the Temple was eventually built. The Midrash teaches that G-d selected Mount Moriah as the place for Jewish worship because of the brotherly love and devotion practiced there. If we are to re-acquire Mount Moriah, it can only be done through the practice of fraternity and love.

Read More


0 Comments7 Minutes