Chukat-Balak 5780-2020

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose--History Repeats Itself!”
(Updated and revised from Parashiot Chukat-Balak 5760-2000)

According to tradition, the nations of Moab and Midian were mortal enemies. As usual, we see, once again in parashat Chukat, that the one thing that unites our enemies is their enmity of Israel, which is greater than their hatred for each other. That pattern has repeated itself throughout Jewish history. Indeed, the deeds of the fathers are the signposts for the children.

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Emor 5775-2015

“Distractions, Distractions!”

Just as the ancient priests were bidden to singularly focus on their work in the Sanctuary, so too must all Jews today endeavor to focus on our peoples’ mission to become a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.

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0 Comments11 Minutes

Terumah 5773-2013

"Form Over Content, or Content Over Form?"

Why did Moses change G-d’s instructions and direct Bezalel to first build the furnishings and vessels of the Tabernacle, and only then build the Tabernacle structure?

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0 Comments8 Minutes

Vayakhel 5768-2008

"Rochel the Riveter"

Those who study parashat Vayakhel feel, at times, like throwing up their hands and saying, "Enough of the excruciating detail about the building of the Tabernacle." Nevertheless, there are always new and revolutionary insights that may be found when studying the nuances of the texts carefully. Parashat Vayakhel teaches about the special role that the women played in building the Tabernacle and conveys the important message about the primacy of the Jewish home that must never be compromised.

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0 Comments9 Minutes

Terumah 5768-2008

"The Museum within the Tabernacle"

The Torah tells us that three items were stored in the Tabernacle for future generations, a flask of manna, some anointing oil, and the staff of Aaron that blossomed. The Talmud and the Midrashim add that the garments of the High Priest and the priest who led the Israelites in battle as well as the gifts from the Philistines when the Ark was returned were stored there as well. What purpose do these items serve?

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0 Comments8 Minutes

Eikev 5764-2004

"Battling the Contemporary Abominations"

Referring to idolatry, the Torah in Deuteronomy 7:26 states: "You shall not bring an abomination into your home. You shall surely loathe it and you shall surely abominate it, for it is something bad." It is fallacious to think that there is no idolatry today. While the debate rages concerning the impact of television on children and home life, internet and violent video games have been added to the mix. There is no question whether these "idolatries" are impacting on our homes and schools. The only question is: How much? Society today is facing a battle for its survival and the survival of our children's souls. We must aggressively do battle with these abundant evils that are rapidly chipping away at our morality and our humanity.

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0 Comments10 Minutes

Balak 5764-2004

"How Goodly are Your Tents O' Jacob?"

Targum Jonathan, the Aramaic translation of the Torah, says that Bilaam saw the schools of the Jewish people and was moved to say: "How goodly are your tents O' Jacob?" The "number one" priority in Jewish life is to ensure that committed Jews remain committed. There is no better way of ensuring that commitment, than by providing outstanding intensive Jewish education for our children. If we fail to do so, then our Jewish future is in jeopardy.

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0 Comments14 Minutes

Chukat-Balak 5760-2000

"History Repeats Itself! Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose"

According to tradition, the nations of Moab and Midian were mortal enemies. As usual, as we see once again in parashat Chukat, the one thing that unites our enemies is their enmity of Israel, which is greater than their hatred for each other. That pattern has repeated itself throughout Jewish history. Indeed, the deeds of the fathers are the signposts for the children.

Read More


0 Comments5 Minutes