The Climax

The Climax

“……And all the great awe which Moshe performed before the eyes of all Israel…” – Devarim 34:12     ולכל היד החזקה ולכל המורא הגדול אשר עשה משה לעיני כל ישראל – דברים לד, יב Based on the Sifri, Rashi interprets the final words of the Torah, “before the eyes of all Israel,” as a reference to one of the darkest moments […]

October 24, 2016 at 5:47 PM 0 comments

Keep Your Enemies at a Distance

Keep Your Enemies at a Distance

“…He drove out the enemy from before you, and said, ‘destroy!’…your enemies will deny [their identities] to you, but you will tread upon their heights…” – Devarim 33:27-29 וַיְגָרֶשׁ מִפָּנֶיךָ אוֹיֵב וַיֹּאמֶר הַשְׁמֵד . . וְיִכָּחֲשׁוּ אֹיְבֶיךָ לָךְ וְאַתָּה עַל בָּמוֹתֵימוֹ תִדְרֹךְ – דברים לג, כז-כט In Moshe’s blessings to the Jewish people, we find two distinct attitudes toward the […]

October 21, 2016 at 1:51 AM 0 comments

The Joy of Achievement

The Joy of Achievement

“…And to Zevulun he said: “rejoice, Zevulun, in your departure, and Yissachar, in your tents…” Devarim 33:18     ולזבולן אמר שמח זבולן בצאתך ויששכר באהליך – דברים לג, יח Moshe’s blessing to Zevulun and Yissachar distinguishes itself by its emphasis on their roles being a source of joy, “Rejoice, Zevulun, in your departure, and Yissachar, in your tents.” This can be […]

October 20, 2016 at 2:15 PM 0 comments

The Inheritance

The Inheritance

“…Moshe commanded us the Torah; it is the inheritance of the congregation of Yaakov…” – Devarim 33:4 תורה צוה לנו משה, מורשה קהלת יעקב – דברים לג, ד “From the moment your son knows how to speak, teach him [the verse], ‘Torah tziva lanu Moshe…’” (Rashi on Devarim 11:19; cf. Talmud, Sukkah 42a). Inheritance is spontaneous; to inherit requires no act or […]

October 19, 2016 at 9:09 AM 0 comments

Some Things Can’t Wait

Some Things Can’t Wait

“…And g-d spoke to Moshe on that very day, saying. ascend this mount Avarim [to] mount Nevo…” –  (Devarim 32:48-49) וַיְדַבֵּר ה’ אֶל משֶׁה בְּעֶצֶם הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה לֵאמֹר: עֲלֵה אֶל הַר הָעֲבָרִים הַזֶּה הַר נְבו.ֹ.. – דברים לב, מח-מט Rashi notes that in three places the Torah employs the phrase, בְּעֶצֶם הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה, which literally means, “at the strength of this […]

October 14, 2016 at 1:24 AM 0 comments

Humble As Ever

Humble As Ever

“…And Moshe came and spoke all the words of this song in the ears of the people, he, and hoshea son of nun…” – Devarim 32:44     ויבא משה וידבר את כל דברי השירה הזאת באזני העם הוא והושע בן נון – דברים לב, מד The Torah recounts the first time that Moshe and Yehoshua jointly addressed Bnei Yisrael: “And Moshe came […]

October 13, 2016 at 1:05 AM 0 comments

Finding Faith

Finding Faith

“…He found them in a desert land…” –  Devarim 32:10 ימצאהו בארץ מדבר – דברים לב, י Rashi explains this verse as praise of the Jewish people: “G-d found them faithful to Him in a desert land, for they accepted His Torah, His sovereignty and His yoke upon themselves.” Why does the Torah refer to the Jewish people’s faith as something […]

October 11, 2016 at 2:11 PM 0 comments

Close to the Heavens

Close to the Heavens

“…Listen, o heavens, and i will speak; and let the earth hear the words of my mouth…” – Devarim 32:1     האזינו השמים ואדברה ותשמע הארץ אמרי פי – דברים לב, א The Sifri observes that when Moshe addressed the heavens, he said הַאֲזִינוּ, which means, “listen,” whereas when he addressed the earth, he said וְתִשְׁמַע, which means, “hear.” The […]

October 10, 2016 at 9:06 AM 0 comments

Moshe’s Retirement

Moshe’s Retirement

“….Assemble to me all the elders of your tribes and your officers, and i will speak these words into their ears…. (Devarim 31:28)

October 7, 2016 at 2:14 AM 0 comments

When G-d Hides

When G-d Hides

“…But I, hide, I shall hide my face on that day…” – Devarim 31:18    ואנכי הסתר אסתיר פני ביום ההוא – דברים לא, יח In Parshas Vayelech, G-d foretells that the Jewish people will one day stray after foreign gods, and His fury will rage against them and many troubles will befall them. “But I, hide, I shall hide My face […]

October 6, 2016 at 12:55 PM 0 comments

Two Last Instructions

Two Last Instructions

“Assemble the people… in order that they hear, and in order that they learn and fear Hashem, your G-d, and they will be careful to do all the words of this Torah. …and now, write for yourselves this song, and teach it to the children of Israel; place it into their mouths…” – Devarim 31:12-19 הַקְהֵל אֶת הָעָם . . […]

October 4, 2016 at 10:51 AM 0 comments

Hakhel: Bracing for Change

Hakhel: Bracing for Change

….Assemble the people: The men , the women and the children, and your strangers in your cities, in order that they hear, and in order that they learn and fear G-od, your G-od and they will observe to do all the words of this Torah…. (Devarim 31:12)   Hakhel is observed every seven years, in the year following Shemitah. Why […]

October 3, 2016 at 4:17 PM 0 comments

The Perfectly Timed Yartzeit

The Perfectly Timed Yartzeit

“….This day I am one hundred and twenty years old, I can no longer go or come…..”(Devarim 31:2) The Talmud (Kiddushin 38a) explains: ‘This day’ need not be stated; why then is it stated? It teaches that G-d sits and completes the years of the righteous from day to day and month to month. The Tanya (Igeres Hakodesh 27) teaches […]

October 2, 2016 at 8:09 PM 0 comments

Can Teshuvah Be an Obligation?

Can Teshuvah Be an Obligation?

“…And you will return to Hashem your G-d, and you will listen to His voice…” – Devarim 30:2 וְשַׁבְתָּ עַד ה’ אֱלֹקֶיךָ וְשָׁמַעְתָּ בְקֹלוֹ – דברים ל, ב The Sefer Mitzvos Katan (#53) interprets this verse as a command to do teshuvah; meaning, one has a positive obligation to repent, and has neglected a mitzvah if he does not. Others, however, […]

September 28, 2016 at 2:29 AM 0 comments

What Makes You Jewish Today?

What Makes You Jewish Today?

“…But not only with you am I making this covenant and this oath, but with those standing here with us today before Hashem our God, and with those who are not here with us, this day…” – Devarim 29:13-14 וְלֹא אִתְּכֶם לְבַדְּכֶם אָנֹכִי כֹּרֵת אֶת הַבְּרִית הַזֹּאת וְאֶת הָאָלָה הַזֹּאת: כִּי אֶת אֲשֶׁר יֶשְׁנוֹ פֹּה עִמָּנוּ עֹמֵד הַיּוֹם לִפְנֵי ה’ […]

September 27, 2016 at 2:26 AM 0 comments

The Pact

The Pact

“…..You are all Standing today before G-od, your G-od: the leaders of your tribes, your elders and your officers, every man of Israel, your young children, your women, and your convert who is within your camp, both your woodcutters and your water drawers.

September 26, 2016 at 1:59 AM 0 comments

Solid Backing

Solid Backing

“…..You are all Standing today before G-od, your G-od: the leaders of your tribes, your elders and your officers, every man of Israel, your young children, your women, and your convert who is within your camp, both your woodcutters and your water drawers. So that you may enter the covenant of G-od, your G-od…” – Devarim 29:9-11 אַתֶּם נִצָּבִים הַיּוֹם […]

September 25, 2016 at 2:08 AM 0 comments

Parashat Ki Tavo – Graduation….

Parashat Ki Tavo – Graduation….

Parashat Ki Tavo “…..Yet until this day, g-d did not give you a heart to know, eyes to see, and ears to hear. i led you through the desert for forty years… you must safeguard the words that constitute this covenant….” (Devarim 29:3-8) …ולא נתן ה’ לכם לב לדעת ועינים לראות ואזנים לשמוע עד היום הזה; ואולך אתכם ארבעים שנה במדבר.. […]

September 23, 2016 at 2:52 AM 0 comments

Raising Children: The Hardest Job of All….

Raising Children: The Hardest Job of All….

“…So we cried out to Hashem, G-d of our fathers, and G-d heard our voice and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression…” –  (Devarim 26:7) וַנִּצְעַק אֶל ה’ אֱלֹקֵי אֲבֹתֵינוּ וַיִּשְׁמַע ה’ אֶת קֹלֵנוּ וַיַּרְא אֶת עָנְיֵנוּ וְאֶת עֲמָלֵנוּ וְאֶת לַחֲצֵנוּ – דברים כו, ז Our toil – these are the sons, as it is written “Every son […]

September 22, 2016 at 2:59 AM 0 comments

The King’s Hidden Treasures

The King’s Hidden Treasures

“…G-d has set you apart this day to be His treasured people, just as He spoke concerning you…” – Devarim 26:18 וה’ האמירך היום להיות לו לעם סגלה… ולהיתך עם קדש לה’ אלקיך כאשר דבר” – דברים כו, יח” What is the meaning of G-d setting the Jewish people apart as His “am segulah,” “His treasured people”? Rashi (on Shemos […]

September 21, 2016 at 2:26 AM 0 comments