Chukat 5776-2016

“The Bronze Serpent"

The Biblical serpent has a long and complex history and relationship with the People of Israel. The Bronze serpent represents an important change in the serpent’s role.

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B’ha’a’lot’cha 5776-2016

“Moses Realizes that His Dreams Were Not Going to be Fulfilled"

Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik provides new insights into a well-known narrative in parashat B’ha’a’lot’cha, explaining why Moses’ dreams of entering the Promised Land were not realized.

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B’shalach 5776-2016

“The Small ‘Stuff’ is not Always Small”

Even the most seemingly “insignificant” Torah verses teach profound lessons.

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Chukat 5771-2011

"The Well of Miriam"

In parashat Chukat, the great prophetess, Miriam, passes away. The fact that, immediately after Miriam’s passing, there is no water for the People of Israel leads the rabbis to conclude that in Miriam’s merit, a well of water traveled with the people of Israel for 40 years in the wilderness, and, with her demise, the well vanished. What was the nature of Miriam’s well?

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Matot-Masei 5769-2009

"The Lesson of the Journeys"

Parashat Masei contains an account of the 42 locations where the people of Israel encamped during their 40 year journey in the wilderness. While the emphasis on the details seems to be unnecessary, there are many lessons to be garnered from the abundant details.

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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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Eikev 5765-2005

"Understanding Birkat Hamazon, the Grace After Meals"

Parashat Eikev contains the verse that serves as the source of the mitzvah mandating the reciting of Birkat Hamazon--the Grace after Meals. What is the purpose of the Grace after Meals? Furthermore, how can a lowly mortal hope to bless or acknowledge the source of his food?

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B’shalach 5764-2004

"The Malbim Teaches the Lessons of the Manna"

From the life of the Malbim, the great 19th century Torah commentator, as well as from his brilliant and complicated explication of the "manna" that the Jewish people were given to eat in the wilderness, we find reminders of G-d's continuous support. Sustenance is always sent from the Al-mighty, whether it overtly rains from heaven, or comes in a more subtle manner.

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