Vayigash 5779-2018

“The Innocent Victim”

When Joseph asked, "Is my father still alive?" he was asking his brothers how could they have been so unconcerned for the feelings of their poor father Jacob, who for 22 years, was inconsolable over the loss of Joseph.

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Bo 5778-2018

“Deceptions at the Behest of G-d”

The Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt is looked upon by all as a universal paradigm of the struggle for freedom from oppression. Yet it is punctuated by several instances of deception on the part of the Israelites and, it was all done at the behest of the Al-mighty G-d.

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Noah 5775-2014

“The Fate of Humankind is Sealed”

The question is asked widely among the commentaries: Why did thievery and robbery (Chah’mas) bring about the fateful decree of total destruction of Noah’s generation? After all, the people were corrupt in many aspects of life, perhaps all aspects of life.

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Matot-Masei 5766-2006

"Taking a Stand Against the Banality of Evil"

In Parashat Matot, we learn that the Israelite soldiers are instructed to avenge the harlotry of Midianites that resulted in the deaths of 24,000 Israelites in a plague. Despite this exceptional instance, the Jewish soldiers are reluctant to kill the women and children until a Divine command is issued. Why a Divine command? To teach how concerned Judaism is that killing never ever becomes casual or mundane, and to assure that indifference to life never finds a home in the hearts of the Jewish people.

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Mishpatim 5764-2004

"The Al-mighty's Concern for the Dignity of the Human Being"

The Torah teaches that a person who steals an ox or a sheep and then slaughters or sells the stolen animal, must pay the value of five oxen in place of the ox, and four sheep in place of the sheep. Why is there such a stiff penalty for stealing these particular animals, and why is there a greater penalty for the theft of an ox as opposed to a sheep?

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Kee Teitzei 5763-2003

"The Torah's Radical Approach to Child Rearing"

In parashat Kee Teitzei, we learn of the law of the Ben Sorer U'moreh, the wayward and rebellious son. The Code of Jewish Law sets out very precise guidelines for child rearing that at first blush seem extremely harsh. However, after careful analysis, we see that the Torah is basically establishing boundaries between parent and child, leading to a healthy and loving parent-child relationship.

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