Shoftim 5773-2013

“Egypt: Off Limits to Jews”

The Torah prohibition against residing in Egypt is more than a concern with the immorality of the ancient Egyptian culture. It is intended to serve as a warning to all Jews against residing in any locale where immoral living prevails.

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Naso 5769-2009

"An Extreme Lifestyle"

According to rabbinic interpretation, the Nazirite chooses a path of extreme behavior in order to avoid the temptations that he encounters in everyday life. Maimonides also recommends extreme behavior in order to heal oneself from negative traits. However, the extreme behavior in both instances must never be presumed to be normative. It is the "golden path" and the balanced disposition that must always be one's goal.

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Eikev 5767-2007

"Swearing in G-d's name"

It's intriguing to see how the commentators dispute what seems to be a simple verse in parashat Eikev, Deuteronomy 10:20, that states "and by His name shall you swear." Maimonides sees it as a positive mitzvah, Nachmanides sees it as a negative mitzvah prohibiting the use of G-d's name. The commentators struggle to explain the differences between these two great authorities and the subtle implications of swearing or not swearing in G-d's name.

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