A Tale of Two Donors – Parashat Re’eh

A Tale of Two Donors – Parashat Re’eh

As much as you generously give… Each man according to his ability to gift, according to the blessing of G-d, your G-d. (Devarim 16:10-17) The Torah speaks here of two different donors, one who is being instructed to give as much as his generosity allows, and the other according to his gift-giving abilities. These two donors are people of different […]

August 17, 2017 at 4:26 PM 0 comments

The Holiday that was Left Out

The Holiday that was Left Out

  The seven days of the festival of Sukkos are followed by Shemini Atzeres (and Simchas Torah). Regarding the seven days of Sukkos, the Torah explicitly commands us to be additionally joyous, even more so than all other festivals. But what of Shemini Atzeres, the eighth day of the holiday? According to the Talmud, the words “you will be only […]

August 16, 2017 at 1:55 AM 0 comments

Enjoying the Joy of Yom Tov – Parashat Re’eh

Enjoying the Joy of Yom Tov – Parashat Re’eh

Even though the simcha mentioned here refers to the korban shlamim… included in this simcha is to make himself, his children and members of his household joyous, each one according to his means. How? For children one gives roasted kernels and nuts and sweets. For women one buys clothing and pleasant jewelry based on what one can afford. And men […]

August 15, 2017 at 1:58 AM 0 comments

Let Them Eat Meat

Let Them Eat Meat

“…When Hashem, your G-d, expands your borders, as He has spoken to you, and you say, “I will eat meat,” because your soul desires to eat meat… However, be strong in not eating the blood…” – Devarim 12:20-23 כִּי יַרְחִיב ה’ אֱלֹקֶיךָ אֶת גְּבֻלְךָ כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר לָךְ וְאָמַרְתָּ אֹכְלָה בָשָׂר כִּי תְאַוֶּה נַפְשְׁךָ לֶאֱכֹל בָּשָׂר בָּשָׂר . . רַק חֲזַק […]

August 14, 2017 at 2:41 AM 0 comments

Under Renovation

Under Renovation

“……And you shall tear down their altars… You shall not do so to G-d, your G-d….” – Devarim 12:3-4 וְנִתַּצְתֶּם אֶת מִזְבְּחֹתָם . . לֹא תַעֲשׂוּן כֵּן לַה’ אֱלֹקֵיכֶם – דברים יב, ג-ד Anyone who demolishes a single stone from the Altar or any part of the Temple building… with a destructive intent is worthy of lashes, as is written: […]

August 13, 2017 at 2:05 AM 0 comments

Speak as G-d Speaks – Parashat Eikev

Speak as G-d Speaks – Parashat Eikev

The Sifri explains the commandment to walk in G-d’s ways as an obligation to emulate the kind and just ways which the Torah attributes to G-d, such as patience and compassion. Our Sages taught, “The word of G-d is like an accomplished act (see Rashi, Beraishis 15:18).” According to the above Sifri, it can be suggested that we are obligated […]

August 10, 2017 at 2:11 AM 0 comments

First Words…. – Parashat Eikev

First Words…. – Parashat Eikev

In the previous parsha, Va’eschana, the Torah commands us: “– You shall teach them thoroughly to your children”. Rashi (6:7) explains that “children” in that context is a reference to students, and the words ושננתם לבניך instruct us to teach the Torah to all who seek to study, and not only to our own children. It is only from the […]

August 9, 2017 at 2:31 AM 0 comments

What’s On Your Mind? – Parashat Eikev

What’s On Your Mind? – Parashat Eikev

“…..And you shall teach them to your children to speak with them, when you sit in your house and when you go on the way; when you lie down and when you rise….” (Devarim 11:19) The final words of this verse teach that the mitzvos of studying Torah and reciting the Shema (“to speak with them”) must be observed at […]

August 8, 2017 at 2:20 AM 0 comments

The Faith Diet

The Faith Diet

“…Who fed you with manna in the desert, which your ancestors did not know, in order to afflict you…” – Devarim 8:16 הַמַּאֲכִלְךָ מָן בַּמִּדְבָּר אֲשֶׁר לֹא יָדְעוּן אֲבֹתֶיךָ לְמַעַן עַנֹּתְךָ – דברים ח, טז The Talmud (Yoma 74b) interprets this verse quite literally, saying, the manna was a food that left you feeling hungry and afflicted.  According to one […]

August 7, 2017 at 3:29 AM 0 comments

The Greatest Reward of All

The Greatest Reward of All

“…He will bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your soil, your grain, your wine, and your oil, the offspring of your cattle and the choice of your flocks…” – Devarim 7:13 וּבֵרַךְ פְּרִי בִטְנְךָ וּפְרִי אַדְמָתֶךָ דְּגָנְךָ וְתִירשְׁךָ וְיִצְהָרֶךָ שְׁגַר אֲלָפֶיךָ וְעַשְׁתְּרֹת צֹאנֶךָ – דברים ז, יג A task’s value and significance is reflected in its […]

August 6, 2017 at 2:16 AM 0 comments

Controlling Your Mind and Heart

Controlling Your Mind and Heart

“…And you shall bind them for a sign upon your hand, and they shall be for a reminder between your eyes…” – Devarim 6:8 וּקְשַׁרְתָּם לְאוֹת עַל יָדֶךָ וְהָיוּ לְטֹטָפֹת בֵּין עֵינֶיךָ – דברים ו,ח The Torah commands us to wear Tefillin, comprised of the Tefillin shel Yad tied on the arm, and the Tefillin shel Rosh worn on the […]

August 3, 2017 at 2:33 AM 0 comments

The Martyr’s Shema

The Martyr’s Shema

“…You shall love Hashem, your G-d, with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might…” – Devarim 6:5 וְאָהַבְתָּ אֵת ה’ אֱלֹקֶיךָ בְּכָל-לְבָבְךָ וּבְכָל-נַפְשְׁךָ וּבְכָל-מְאֹדֶךָ – דברים ו,ה Our Sages explain the commandment to “love G-d… with all your soul” to mean, “even if He takes your soul,” i.e., to devote yourself to G-d even at the […]

August 1, 2017 at 1:24 AM 0 comments

The One and Only Word – Echad

The One and Only Word – Echad

“…Hear, O Israel: Hashem is our G-d, Hashem is one…” – Devarim 6:4 שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל ה’ אֱלֹקֵינוּ ה’ אֶחָד – דברים ו, ד This verse expresses the cardinal principle of the Jewish faith: belief in the singular existence of G-d. The deeper meaning of this “oneness” is that not only is there no deity other than the One G-d, but […]

July 31, 2017 at 2:23 AM 0 comments

Mezuzah: Protecting the Citizens of Israel

Mezuzah: Protecting the Citizens of Israel

“…And you shall inscribe them upon the doorposts of your house and upon your gates…” – Devarim 6:9 וּכְתַבְתָּם עַל מְזֻזוֹת בֵּיתֶךָ וּבִשְׁעָרֶיךָ – דברים ו, ט Our sages teach that affixing mezuzos to the doorposts of our homes brings security and protection for the house and all its inhabitants (see Talmud, Avodah Zarah 11a). The Zohar (vol. 3, p. 263b) takes […]

July 30, 2017 at 2:54 AM 0 comments

War of Words

War of Words

“…On that side of the Jordan, in the land of Moav, Moshe began explaining this teaching, saying…” Devarim 1:5 בְּעֵבֶר הַיַּרְדֵּן בְּאֶרֶץ מוֹאָב הוֹאִיל משֶׁה בֵּאֵר אֶת הַתּוֹרָה הַזֹּאת לֵאמֹר – דברים א, ה Before his passing, Moshe began to prepare Bnei Yisrael for their entry into the Land of Israel by recounting all that they had experienced during their forty […]

July 24, 2017 at 5:05 PM 0 comments

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