B’ha’alot’cha 5760-2000

"Giving Our Disciples a Firm Grounding"

Because the Torah uses the unusual expression, "B'ha'a'lot'cha," when you raise up and kindle the candelabra, our rabbis learn that the priests were to light each new candle in the menorah until the flame of the new candle was able to rise on its own. This unusual expression is meant to serve as a message to teachers and mentors who are instructed to train and encourage their disciples to stand on their own feet, providing them with multiple educational and religious experiences in order for them to become healthy disciples, rather than mere sycophants.

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Bamidbar 5760-2000

"The Risks of Being a Public Figure"

The Torah announces: "These are the offspring of Aaron and Moses," but only lists the offspring of Aaron. From this textual nuance we learn that those people who are not blessed with biological children can still be spiritual parents, like Moses was to Aaron's children. It also underscores the great challenge facing public figures to balance their own lives with the needs of the community.

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Tzav-Purim 5760 – 2000

"Remembering Amalek: A Contemporary View"

Jewish tradition looks upon those who seek to destroy the Jewish people as the heirs of the ancient Amalekites, the fierce nation that was the first to attack the people of Israel, especially the elderly, weak and the young after the exodus from Egypt. While remembering Amalek is important, rebuilding and guaranteeing the Jewish future is far more important.

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Shemot 5760-1999

"Commitment to Judaism: A lesson from Moshe"

"Give me four years to teach the children, and the seed I will have sown will never be uprooted." Thus spoke the communist leader, V.I. Lenin. Could it be that Moses's formative rearing at the hands of his mother Yocheved and sister Miriam made the difference? It is highly probable that his early childhood experience, supplemented by his stepmother Bitya's effective rearing, leads to Moses's exalted sense of Jewish identity and his emergence as a great Jewish leader.

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