Shoftim 5765-2005

"The Extent of Rabbinic Authority"

In this week's parasha, we are introduced to the Torah law that affirms rabbinic authority. In the traditional observant Jewish community today, the nature and extent of rabbinic authority is a matter of dispute. This dispute regarding Daat Torah (whether advice given by great Torah scholars must be followed by Jews committed to Torah observance) very much revolves around the meanings and interpretations of the verses cited in parashat Shoftim.

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Bamidbar 5764-2004

"Surviving the Wilderness"

Bamidbar--the wilderness--is not just an experience in the desert. The wilderness represents the challenge of Jews to survive in hostile environments and provides the keys for Jewish survival in those environments. Bamidbar teaches that the strength of family, the centrality of G-d and devotion to Torah are the elixirs of Jewish life.

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