Bamidbar 5777-2017

“The Danger of Seeing the Holy Furnishings”

The closing verses of parashat Bamidbar underscore the great sanctity of the Torah, a particularly timely theme for the eve of Shavuot.

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Tetzaveh/Purim 5777-2017

“Transformations"

Just as the priestly garments have the power to transform a descendent of the tribe of Levi into a functioning priest, so does the ascendance of goodness and righteousness have the power to transform a murderous country into a benevolent society.

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Matot-Masei 5775-2015

“The Noble Calling of the Levites: Serving as an Exemplar for the Jewish People”

How is it possible that the descendants of Levi, the murderous and violent son of Jacob, were chosen to serve as role models for all the tribes of Israel?

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Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5773-2013

"The Sanctity of The Holy of Holies"

What is the role, function and mystique of the “Holy of Holies?”

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Vayikra 5773-2013

"Achieving Spiritual Ascendance Through Sacrifice"

Why do Jewish children begin their study of Torah with the complicated laws of sacrifice? What is ultimately achieved by the bringing of animal sacrifices?

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Bamidbar – Shavuot 5772-2012

"Techelet--Genuine Sincerity in Faith"

The Torah delineates very specific procedures for preparing the Tabernacle furnishings before the camp of Israel travels in the wilderness. From the priestly procedures to cover the holy furnishings of the Tabernacle, we learn a profound lesson regarding the primacy of faith.

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Korach 5770-2010

"And Behold the Staff of Aaron had Blossomed"

What is the point of the staff that blossoms, the new sign that G-d employs to prove Aaron's leadership? After all, there have already been three very definitive proofs confirming the leadership of Moses and Aaron.

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Korach 5769-2009

"A Controversy with an Ignoble Purpose"

In Pirkei Avot, Ethics of the Fathers, we learn what the rabbis regarded as legitimate disputes and illegitimate disputes. The lesson that rabbis in Avot teach not only clarifies the issue of disputes, but also clarifies much of what took place at the rebellion of Korach.

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Korach 5768-2008

"Datan and Abiram: The Protagonists"

Datan and Abiram, two members of the tribe of Reuben, are caught up in the rebellion of Korach and are swallowed along with Korach when the earth opens. The Midrash sees Datan and Abiram as the paradigm of effrontery, rebellion, and brazenness, the ultimate ingrates who devote their lives to undermining Moses and the authority of G-d.

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Naso 5768-2008

"Carrying the Ark"

In parashat Naso we learn that the family of Kehat was required to carry the holiest furnishings of the Tabernacle on their shoulders. This instruction was not merely a recommendation, but a mitzvah that resulted in an unnecessary death in the time of David, when the Ark was mistakenly transported by wagon. It also teaches that the human touch is critical in life, and that technology should not be permitted to replace the always-necessary human relationships with others and with G-d.

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Bamidbar 5767-2007

"The Tribe of Levi--the Master Enablers"

A major portion of parashat B'midbar, as well as Naso and B'ha'a'lot'cha, focuses in on the role of the tribe of Levi. Why all this emphasis on Levites? Who were they, and how did they become the most important tribe of Israel in spiritual matters?

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Shemot 5766-2006

"And G-d Built Them Houses"

According to tradition, the midwives who refused to follow Pharaoh's orders and kill the male Hebrew children, were Yocheved and Miriam, mother and sister of Moses and Aaron. The commentaries suggest that when Scripture notes that G-d rewards them by building them "houses" it refers not to real houses, but rather to the dynasties of the Priesthood and Levites and the monarchy of King David. It is NJOP's hope that many NJOP students who never knew that they were Priests and Levites will return to their Priestly and Levitic functions, and that in the time of Messiah, the Al-mighty will see fit to choose one of those students, a descendant of the tribe of Judah, to lead His people to full redemption.

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Korach 5765-2005

"Lessons from the Rebels"

The sad story of the rebellion of Korach and his tragic demise are remote and far-removed from the minds and experiences of most contemporary men and women. There are, however, many profound lessons to be learned from the Korach saga regarding individual destiny choices, living up to one's potential and working within given structure.

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Bamidbar 5765-2005

"Lessons from Traveling in the Wilderness"

Parashat Bamidbar goes into great detail regarding the setup of the encampment of the ancient Israelites as they lived and traveled in the wilderness. These details, seemingly insignificant, provide essential lessons for Jews, lessons that we should master, and implement in our own lives, thus insuring the survival of our people.

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Vayikra 5765-2005

"The 'Sacrifice' That Lasts Forever "

Much of the Book of Leviticus, especially parashat Vayikra, deals with the rites and rituals of animal sacrifice. Sacrifice, however, does not only mean the sacrifice of offerings in the Tabernacle, it also means the Jews preparedness to do everything that is necessary to guarantee that Jewish children are given proper Jewish educations, thus ensuring a bright Jewish future.

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Korach 5764-2004

"The Power of Strife"

Korach was unable to control his rage and his wrath. He succeeded in stirring up hundreds of people. Had he been willing to meet with Moses and discuss his differences, there might have been a reconciliation and a much different end for himself and his followers.

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Tetzaveh 5764-2004

"Keeping the Priests Humble"

The detailed description of the priestly garments, reflects lives thoroughly devoted to the service of G-d. While their vestments are royal and holy, they are, in essence, quite humbling, connoting accountability and responsibility. The sanctity and complexity of the priestly garments, reveal the multifaceted nature of the priests' lives, that are at once privileged and charged with awesome responsibility.

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Terumah 5764-2004

"Being Transported by Torah"

Within the instructions regarding the fashioning of vessels of the Tabernacle, a timeless lesson regarding the Torah is to be found. Since the Torah is always to be portable, Jews have been able to bring it with them no matter where they journeyed. Yet any notion that Jews have about sustaining the Torah throughout the years is a delusion. It is the Torah that supports those who cling to it.

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Tzav 5763-2003

"What we Learn from the Jewish 'Caste System'"

How does Judaism justify its seemingly discriminatory communal structure of Kohanim-Priests, Leviim-Levites and Israelites?

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0 Comments9 Minutes