Vayeitzei 5778-2017

“Three Wells ”

Wells play an important role in the Torah and in Judaism. It is interesting to contrast the well of Jacob, with the wells of Eliezer and Moses in Midian.

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Matot 5774-2014

Hakarat HaTov: Expressing Appreciation”

It is important to express gratitude for all the myriad kindnesses that are bestowed upon us. It is a lesson that Moses apparently learned well.

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Behar 5774-2014

“So That Your Brother May Live With You”

The verse in Leviticus 25:36, “That your brother may live with you,” plays a key role in one of the most famous Talmudic discussions.

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Shelach 5773-2013

"Tzitzit: The Unpretentious Mitzvah"

Tzitzit, the mitzvah of wearing fringes on four-cornered garments, has many facets and multiple contemporary implications.

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Bereshith 5773-2012

“What is Heaven?”

Even though it is never recorded that G-d said, “Let there be heaven and earth,” we are told that “In the beginning, G-d created the heavens and the earth.” Where and when did heaven and earth appear? Did heaven and earth always exist, or perhaps, was heaven created on the second day together with the water?

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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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Va’eira 5771-2011

"Messages from the Nile"

As the central feature of Egypt, it was logical that the Nile would be the first object of G-d’s wrath. Hence, the first two plagues, blood and frogs, are visited upon the Nile. But, there is much more that the Nile represents.

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Bamidbar 5770-2010

"The Meaning of the Wilderness"

The midbar-wilderness, is a dry and abandoned location, a place where the Divine presence of G-d appears to be absent. Yet, the very opposite is true! G-d is close and extremely accessible even in the most remote places and circumstances!

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Devarim-Tisha B’Av 5764-2004

"Building a 'New' Sanctuary"

This has been a difficult and challenging year for the Jewish people. Terror attacks, anti-Semitism, assimilation and intermarriage are on the rise. It has also been a particularly hard year for observant Jews, who have been challenged with the appearance of crustaceans in their waters and wigs that might have been used for idolatry. Perhaps what we need during this period of mourning for the Temple is to spiritually chill-out, to calm down and find a sanctuary in our belief system.

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Chukat-Balak 5762-2002

"The Paradox of the Red Heifer"

In the first of this week's two parashiot, parashat Chukat, we read of the paradox of the Red Heifer whose ashes were used to purify those who were ritually contaminated. The Red Heifer rendered those who were impure, pure, and those that were pure, impure. Perhaps it is teaching us that there is a significant price to pay for trying to improve others. But, we must be prepared to pay that price. It is, after all, the only way to achieve ultimate perfection.

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B’shalach 5762-2002

"G-d: The Source of Sweetness"

Immediately after the great miracle of the parting of the seas, the Jews arrived at a place called Marah, where the water had turned bitter. G-d tells Moses to throw a bitter branch into the water and miraculously the waters become sweet. Our commentators suggest that the Torah wishes to convey the message to humankind that ultimately there is really no such thing as "bitter or sweet." Whatever we experience is merely a reflection of G-d's will.

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