Praying for a Living – Parashat Beshalach

Praying for a Living – Parashat Beshalach

“…And B’nei Yisrael cried out to G-d…” – Shemot 14:10 וַיִּצְעֲקוּ בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל ה’ – יד, י Seeing Pharaoh and his army rapidly approaching them, the Jews became frightened and cried out to G-d. Rashi comments that the Jews’ reaction was not unusual; rather, “they seized the craft of their ancestors.” For Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov, calling out to […]

January 21, 2018 at 1:37 AM 0 comments

Egypt Syndrome – Parashat Bo

Egypt Syndrome – Parashat Bo

“….And the blood will be for you for a sign upon the houses where you will be, and I will see the blood and spare you, and there will be no destructive plague in you when I smite the land of Egypt….” – Shemot 12:13 וְהָיָה הַדָּם לָכֶם לְאֹת עַל הַבָּתִּים אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם שָׁם וְרָאִיתִי אֶת הַדָּם וּפָסַחְתִּי עֲלֵכֶם וְלֹא […]

January 17, 2018 at 2:00 AM 0 comments

The Deprogramming – Parashat Bo

The Deprogramming – Parashat Bo

“….And you shall keep it for inspection until the fourteenth day of this month…” – Shemot 12:6 וְהָיָה לָכֶם לְמִשְׁמֶרֶת עַד אַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר יוֹם לַחֹדֶשׁ הַזֶּה – שמות יב, ו Bnei Yisrael were commanded to designate a lamb on the 10th of Nissan to be slaughtered as the Pesach offering four days later. Rashi comments (on Shemos 12:6) that these […]

January 16, 2018 at 3:47 PM 0 comments

Not the Time and Place for Miracles – Parashat Bo

Not the Time and Place for Miracles – Parashat Bo

“….And there was thick darkness over the entire land of Egypt…” – Shemot 10:22 וַיְהִי חשֶׁךְ אֲפֵלָה בְּכָל אֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם – שמות י, כב Rashi notes that one of the purposes of the Plague of Darkness was to allow for the Egyptians’ homes to be searched by the Jews. This would enable the fulfillment of G-d’s directive (Shemos 3:22 and […]

January 15, 2018 at 1:34 AM 0 comments

When the Gates of Teshuvah Close

When the Gates of Teshuvah Close

  If G-d hardened Pharaoh’s heart, effectively removing any chance he had to regret and abandon his past decisions, then why was Pharaoh punished? He was not given a chance to mend his ways! Rav Shimon ben Lakish answers this question in the Midrash (Shemos Rabbah 13:3). He explains that Pharaoh was “struck” by G-d with remorselessness only because he […]

January 14, 2018 at 2:05 AM 0 comments

Escaping the Cold – Parashat Va’eira

Escaping the Cold – Parashat Va’eira

“….And all the water that was in the Nile turned to blood…” – Shemot 7:20 וַיֵּהָפְכוּ כָּל הַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר בַּיְאֹר לְדָם – שמות ז, כ  The Jewish people were so oppressed in Egypt that even Moshe struggled to understand how this could be part of G-d’s plan. Their misery was so profound that they refused to accept Moshe’s message from […]

January 10, 2018 at 12:02 AM 0 comments

Blood before Frogs – Parashat Va’eira

Blood before Frogs – Parashat Va’eira

“…..And the river will swarm with frogs, and they will emerge and come inside your home and your bedroom and upon your bed, and inside the homes of your servants and among your people, and into your ovens and your kneading troughs….” – Shemot 7:28 וְשָׁרַץ הַיְאֹר צְפַרְדְּעִים וְעָלוּ וּבָאוּ בְּבֵיתֶךָ וּבַחֲדַר מִשְׁכָּבְךָ וְעַל מִטָּתֶךָ וּבְבֵית עֲבָדֶיךָ וּבְעַמֶּךָ וּבְתַנּוּרֶיךָ וּבְמִשְׁאֲרוֹתֶיךָ […]

January 9, 2018 at 2:58 AM 0 comments

The Fathers – Parashat Va’eira

The Fathers – Parashat Va’eira

“….And I appeared to Avraham, to Yitzchok and to Yaakov….” – Shemot 6:3 ״…וארא אל אברהם, אל יצחק ואל יעקב….״ – שמות ו, ג In this verse and the verses that follow, G-d tells Moshe that He will now fulfill the promise He made when He appeared to Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov, namely, to redeem their children from Egypt. In […]

January 8, 2018 at 2:29 AM 0 comments

Discovering the Real Motive – Parashat Va’eira

Discovering the Real Motive – Parashat Va’eira

“….But i will harden pharaoh’s heart, and i will increase my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt….” – Shemot 7:3 ״….ואני אקשה את לב פרעה והרבתי את אותותי ואת מופתי בארץ מצרים….״ – שמות ז, ג G-d struck the Egyptians with the Ten Plagues as punishment for their cruel enslavement of Bnei Yisrael. These supernatural Plagues also […]

January 7, 2018 at 3:22 AM 0 comments

Don’t Mind Your Own Business

Don’t Mind Your Own Business

“….And the king of Egypt said to them, “Why, Moshe and Aharon, do you disturb the people from their work? Go to your own labors.” – Shemot 5:4 וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם מֶלֶךְ מִצְרַיִם לָמָּה משֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן תַּפְרִיעוּ אֶת הָעָם מִמַּעֲשָׂיו לְכוּ לְסִבְלֹתֵיכֶם  – שמות ה, ד The commentaries note that Pharaoh instructed Moshe and Aharon to return to their own labors, […]

January 5, 2018 at 3:28 AM 0 comments

A Donkey with a History – Parashat Shemot

A Donkey with a History – Parashat Shemot

“…..Moshe took his wife and sons and mounted them on the donkey….” – Shemot 4:20 ״….ויקח משה את אישתו ואת בניו וירכבם על החמור….״ – שמות ד, כ The Torah specifies the means of transportation that Moshe provided for his family because the donkey they rode wasn’t quite your average donkey. Rather, when he set out on his journey to […]

January 4, 2018 at 12:03 AM 0 comments

The Power of Positive Thinking

The Power of Positive Thinking

“…Moshe became frightened and said, “indeed, the matter has become known.” Pharaoh heard of this incident, and he sought to slay Moshe; and Moshe fled from before Pharaoh…” – Shemos 2:14-15 וַיִּירָא משֶׁה וַיֹּאמַר אָכֵן נוֹדַע הַדָּבָר: וַיִּשְׁמַע פַּרְעֹה אֶת הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה וַיְבַקֵּשׁ לַהֲרֹג אֶת משֶׁה וַיִּבְרַח משֶׁה מִפְּנֵי פַרְעֹה – שמות ב, יד-טו The Torah relates that when Moshe discovered […]

January 3, 2018 at 2:52 AM 0 comments

The Scary Truth about Lashon Hara

The Scary Truth about Lashon Hara

“….Moshe became frightened and said, “Indeed, the matter has become known!….” – Shemot 2:14 ״….ויירא משה ויאמר אכן נודע הדבר…״ – שמות ב, יד   The redemption from Egypt marked the birth of the Jewish people, when the Bnei Yisrael were chosen by G-d to be His nation. This elite status was not something we earned through our merits. In […]

January 2, 2018 at 2:24 AM 0 comments

Hands Down – Parashat Shemot

Hands Down – Parashat Shemot

“….He went out on the second day, and behold, two hebrew men were quarreling. he said to the wicked one, “why will you strike your friend?…” – Shemot 2:13 ״….ויצא ביוםהשני והנה שני אנשים עברים נצים ויאמר לרשע למה תכה רעך….״ – ב,יג Moshe reprimanded the quarrelers even before their fight came to actual blows, as indicated by the future […]

January 1, 2018 at 12:20 AM 0 comments

Save Your Children from Pharaoh’s Decree

Save Your Children from Pharaoh’s Decree

“….You shall cast every boy who is born into the nile, but every daughter you shall keep alive…” – Shemot 1:22 ״….כל הבן הילוד היאורה תשליכוהו וכל הבת תחיון…״ – א, כב At first glance, Pharaoh’s decree seems to have targeted only the Jewish baby boys and spared the girls. The conclusion of the directive, however, which states the obvious […]

December 31, 2017 at 1:24 AM 0 comments

A Local Source of Energy – Parashat Vayechi

A Local Source of Energy – Parashat Vayechi

“….And yosef died at the age of one hundred and ten years, and he was embalmed and placed in a coffin in Egypt….” – Bereishit 47:26 ״….וימת יוסף בן מאה ועשר שנים ויחנטו אותו ויישם בארון במצרים…״ – בראשית מז, כו Upon concluding the reading of any of the five books of the Torah, the entire community customarily calls out, […]

December 29, 2017 at 1:00 AM 0 comments

A Tale of Two Coffins – Parashat Vayechi

A Tale of Two Coffins –  Parashat Vayechi

“….And his sons carried him….” – Bereishit 50:13 ״….וישאו אותו בניו…״ – בראשית נ,יג Rashi notes that Yaakov’s coffin was carried by all but two of his sons, Levi and Yosef, who were replaced by Menasheh and Ephraim instead. “Levi shall not carry it because he (i.e., his tribe) is destined to carry the Aron. Yosef shall not carry it […]

December 28, 2017 at 1:13 AM Comments are Disabled

If You Can Beat Them – Parashat Vayechi

If You Can Beat Them – Parashat Vayechi

The Midrash explains that the “man” that Shimon and Levi are said to have killed in their wrath is actually a reference to quite a few men: the entire adult male population of Shechem. Yaakov calls all of them “a man,” because they were like no more than one man before Shimon and Levi. What place does this tribute to […]

December 27, 2017 at 3:59 AM 0 comments

Insider Information

Insider Information

“…And Yaakov called for his sons and said, “gather and i will tell you what will happen to you at the end of days.” – Bereishis 49:1 וַיִּקְרָא יַעֲקֹב אֶל בָּנָיו וַיֹּאמֶר הֵאָסְפוּ וְאַגִּידָה לָכֶם אֵת אֲשֶׁר יִקְרָא אֶתְכֶם בְּאַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים – בראשית מט, א The Talmud (Pesachim 56a) explains that Yaakov sought to reveal to his sons the end of […]

December 26, 2017 at 2:26 AM 0 comments

A Mother’s Sacrifice – Parashat Vayechi

A Mother’s Sacrifice – Parashat Vayechi

“…..I buried her there along the road to Efras, which is Bies-Lechem…..” – Bereishit 48:7 ״…..ואקברה שם בדרך אפרת היא בית לחם…״ – בראשית מח,ז Rachel’s burial place would naturally have been in Me’aras Hamachpela, alongside her husband. Instead, Rachel was buried on the roadside in order to hasten her children’s eventual return from exile, as explained in the Midrash.“When […]

December 25, 2017 at 1:37 AM 0 comments