B’ha’a’lot’cha 5779-2019

“Giving Our Disciples A Firm Grounding”
(Revised and updated from B’ha’a’lot’cha 5760-2000)

Because the Torah employs the unusual expression, “B’ha’a’lot’cha,” when you raise up and kindle the candelabra, our rabbis learn that the priests were to light each new candle in the Menorah until the flame of the new candle was able to rise on its own. This unusual expression is meant to serve as a message to teachers and mentors who are instructed to train and encourage their disciples to stand on their own feet, providing them with multiple educational and religious experiences, in order for them to emerge as healthy disciples, rather than mere sycophants.

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Shemini 5770-2010

"The Show Must Go On"

Moses and Aaron disagree over whether the Rosh Chodesh sin offering should have been brought on the heels of the great tragedy that befell Aaron with the loss of his two sons. The debate has to do with whether the "show" must always go on, and under what circumstances should it go on. What are the key differences between the positions of Moses and Aaron on this issue?

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0 Comments10 Minutes

Yitro 5769-2009

"Ambassadors Needed"

Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, recommends establishing a Judicial system that can work efficiently to reduce the burdens on Moses and the people. Jethro's advice was not just about a judicial system. It was much more!

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0 Comments9 Minutes

Tzav 5768-2008

"Never Give Up Hope!"

The Torah teaches that in addition to lifting up a scoop of ashes and placing them near the altar, the priest must remove the accumulated ashes from the altar and bring them outside the camp to a pure place. The Beit Yaakov interprets this as a metaphor never to give up hope on any Jew. Even though the embers seem to be dying, we must enable them to glow again by placing them in a pure place.

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0 Comments9 Minutes

Shemini-Yom Hashoah 5767-2007

"Never Again!-Again!"

As Yom Hashoah is marked, we think about the slogan "Never Again" and our pledge to never allow the wholesale destruction of the Jewish People to take place again. Unfortunately, it is happening again--this time through a silent spiritual Holocaust.

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0 Comments5 Minutes

Lech Lecha 5767-2006

"The Souls That Were Made in Haran"

In this week's parasha we read of Abram's journey from Haran to Canaan. Abram not only takes his family and his belongings to Canaan, but also the "souls that he had made in Haran." The rabbis offer a number of interpretations of who or what these "souls" are. However, the big question remains: What ever happened to those "souls"?

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0 Comments11 Minutes

Toledot 5765-2004

"Digging Wells"

Parashat Toledot tells of numerous occasions when Isaac and his servants go out to dig wells. What is so significant about well digging that impels the most important document in Judaism to not only recount that Isaac dug numerous wells, but to even list the well's names? Obviously, these ancient wells were signposts of Jewish identity, Jewish pride and Jewish outreach. We learn from Isaac and his wells that the anti-Semites do not respect Jews who are ashamed of their heritage. On the other hand, non-Jews cannot help but admire those Jews who stand up proudly and state without reticence or embarrassment, "I am a Jew!"

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B’ha’alot’cha 5762-2002

"Is This What the Torah Predicted?"

In parashat B'ha'alot'cha we find two extremely telling stories concerning two groups of ancient Israelites. The first, the "mixed multitude," cry out, "Our souls are dried up, there is nothing at all." The second group protest to Moses that they do not wish to miss celebrating the ritual of the Pascal sacrifice together with their families and the entire people of Israel. These two groups may very well represent the millions of alienated contemporary Jews who have declared that their souls are dried up and a growing number of contemporary Jews who love their Judaism and wish to reach out to, and inspire, their turned-off brothers and sisters who are ignorant of their heritage..

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0 Comments9 Minutes

B’ha’alot’cha 5760-2000

"Giving Our Disciples a Firm Grounding"

Because the Torah uses the unusual expression, "B'ha'a'lot'cha," when you raise up and kindle the candelabra, our rabbis learn that the priests were to light each new candle in the menorah until the flame of the new candle was able to rise on its own. This unusual expression is meant to serve as a message to teachers and mentors who are instructed to train and encourage their disciples to stand on their own feet, providing them with multiple educational and religious experiences in order for them to become healthy disciples, rather than mere sycophants.

Read More


0 Comments11 Minutes