Vayeilech-Yom Kippur 5779-2018

“And Moses Went...”

When Moses went to the Jewish people on the final day of his life, he gave them a most profound spiritual gift.

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Shelach 5778-2018

“Moses Called Hoshea the Son of Nun, ‘Joshua’”

Why did Moses pray for the well-being of only Joshua, and not for the well-being of Caleb and the other 10 scouts?

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Vayeilech-Yom Kippur 5777-2016

“Patience Tempered With Love”

As Joshua is about to assume the mantle of leadership of Israel, Moses charges his disciple to be patient and tolerant with the people and to infuse his feelings for them with abundant love. This was a lesson that Moses himself had learned from G-d Al-mighty.

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Shelach 5776-2016

“A Name Change Becomes a Game Changer"

By changing the name of Hoshea to Joshua, Moses also changes Joshua’s personal powers and his ultimate destiny.

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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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Vayeilech-Yom Kippur 5776-2015

“Living a Truly Meaningful Life”

On the final day of his life, Moses teaches all of humankind how to live a truly meaningful life.

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Kee Tavo 5775-2015

“Making The Final Commitment”

While encouraging the People of Israel to make the final commitment to the Al-mighty, Moses conveyed an important message to the people that is still relevant in our time, and can prove useful in our own lives.

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Pinchas 5772-2012

“Transferring Power”

Some of the commentators suggest that Joshua was not the only candidate to succeed Moses as leader. Some even suggest that Joshua was not even Moses’ first choice. Why then was he chosen?

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B’ha’alot’cha 5772-2012

"Eldad and Medad"

Eldad and Medad are two relatively unknown Biblical personages, and yet, their powerful message and actions continue to resonate loud and clear.

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Lech Lecha 5771-2010

“Abram Prays for Others”

The Talmud states that those who invoke G-d’s compassion for their neighbors, and who are in need of a similar response, are answered first. In this week’s parasha, we find two instances where the commentaries indicate that Abram prayed for others.

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Va’etchanan 5770-2010

"Moses Blames the People for His Fate"

On several occasions, G-d tells Moses directly that he may not enter the land of Canaan because he failed to sanctify G-d's name when he hit the rock at May M'reeva. Why, then, does Moses, at least twice, blame the Jewish people for his being unable to enter the Promised Land?

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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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Nitzavim-Vayeilech 5769-2009

"Farewell to a Great Leader"

At age 120, Moses went out to speak to the people of Israel and console them over his impending death. The death of Moses brings to mind the recent passing of a great Jewish leader, Rabbi Zelik Epstein, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivah Shaar HaTorah, who was extremely helpful to NJOP with his courageous decisions and support of our vital work.

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Shelach 5769-2009

"Long-Term Consequences"

When the ancient Israelites heard the evil reports of the ten scouts, they stayed up all night and cried. The Talmud states that G-d reacted to this crying by declaring "You cried for no reason, I will give you good cause to cry." That very day, the 9th of Av, was consequently designated in Jewish history as a day of evil in which many calamities occurred, including the destruction of both Temples. Although G-d forgave the young generation of the wilderness, He still held the people accountable for what they had done. Contemporary Jews must also consider the role they play and the long-term consequences of their actions.

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Yom Kippur 5769-2008

"Difficult Transitions"

Transitions are always difficult. In parashat Vayeilech, we learn of the transfer of leadership from Moses to Joshua. In a Chassidic tale we learn about a Jewish feudal lord who had converted to Christianity, returning to the Jewish faith only moments before his death.

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Matot 5768-2008

"Striving for Refined Speech"

In this week's parasha, parashat Matot, we learn of the injunction against profane speech. It is from here that we learn not only to avoid negative speech, but to always strive to make our speech as refined as possible.

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Nitzavim-Vayeilech 5767-2007

"The Choosing People"

According to Dr. Yisrael Eldad, the greatest of all the blessings bestowed on humankind is the ability, highlighted in parashat Nitzavim, to choose. This is what gives meaning to human life and elevates it above all other creations. It is not so much how we make our living that determines our worth. It is how we live our lives that has the power to render us to be of infinite value.

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Shelach 5767-2007

"The Ma'ah'peelim: Forcing Their Way Into the Promised Land"

Because of the evil reports of the ten scouts recorded in parashat Shelach, G-d decrees that the generation of the wilderness shall not enter the land of Israel. Nevertheless, the next morning, a large group of people arise early to force their way up the mountain toward Canaan and are smitten by the Amalekites and the Canaanites. These rebels are known as the "Ma'ah'peelim." Why were they not allowed into the land of Israel, and why were they punished so severely?

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B’ha’alot’cha 5764-2004

"Searching for Eldad and Medad"

Eldad and Medad were the two worthy elders who were left behind when Moses gathered the 70 elders to help him bear the burden of the nation. There is much to learn from the extensive Midrashic portraits of Eldad and Medad, especially about how to correctly identify quality Jewish leaders.

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0 Comments8 Minutes