24-Hour Security

24-Hour Security

“… Six cities of refuge shall serve for you…” – Bamidbar 35:13 שֵׁשׁ עָרֵי מִקְלָט תִּהְיֶינָה לָכֶם – במדבר לה, יג The Sefer Hachinuch enumerates six mitzvos that are obligatory constantly; “their obligation does not depart from the person for a single moment throughout his lifetime.” These are: 1) To believe in G‑d. 2) Not to believe in any power […]

July 20, 2017 at 1:28 AM 0 comments

Reciprocating the Gift of the Land of Israel

Reciprocating the Gift of the Land of Israel

“…Command the Bnei Yisrael and say to them: When you arrive in the land of Canaan, this is the land that will fall to you as an inheritance, the land of Canaan according to its borders…” – Bamidbar 34:2 צַו אֶת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם כִּי אַתֶּם בָּאִים אֶל הָאָרֶץ כְּנָעַן זֹאת הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר תִּפֹּל לָכֶם בְּנַחֲלָה אֶרֶץ כְּנַעַן לִגְבֻלֹתֶיהָ […]

July 19, 2017 at 5:25 PM 0 comments

No Ordinary Matter

No Ordinary Matter

“…If a man makes a vow… he shall not profane his word…” – Bamidbar 30:3 אִישׁ כִּי יִדֹּר נֶדֶר . . לֹא יַחֵל דְּבָרוֹ – במדבר ל, ג The Torah expresses the prohibition of violating your vows with the words, לֹא יַחֵל דְּבָרוֹ. Rashi explains that the Hebrew word יַחֵל is akin to the word יְחַלֵּל, and should be understood […]

July 17, 2017 at 6:38 AM 0 comments

Tough Staff

Tough Staff

“…And Moshe spoke to the heads of the tribes of Bnei Israel…” – Bamidbar 30:2 וַיְדַבֵּר משֶׁה אֶל רָאשֵׁי הַמַּטּוֹת לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל – במדבר ל, ב The Torah refers to the tribes of Bnei Yisrael here as מטות, matos, each individual tribe called a mateh. Elsewhere, the tribes are called shevatim, each tribe known as a sheivet. Mateh and sheivet are […]

July 16, 2017 at 8:17 AM 0 comments

Just a Thought

Just a Thought

After naming the families of the tribe of Reuven that would enter the Land of Israel, the Torah recounts that Dasan and Aviram (who were from the tribe of Reuven) perished along with Korach when they incited a rebellion against Moshe and were swallowed by the earth. The Torah then notes that the sons of Korach did not die in […]

July 12, 2017 at 2:49 AM 0 comments

An Eternal Reward

An Eternal Reward

“…Pinchas son of Elazar, the son of Aharon the kohen, has turned My anger away from Bnei Yisrael by his zealously avenging Me among them, so that I did not destroy Bnei Yisrael because of My zeal…” – Bamidbar 25:11 פִּינְחָס בֶּן אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן אַהֲרֹן הַכֹּהֵן הֵשִׁיב אֶת חֲמָתִי מֵעַל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּקַנְאוֹ אֶת קִנְאָתִי בְּתוֹכָם וְלֹא כִלִּיתִי אֶת בְּנֵי […]

July 11, 2017 at 3:20 AM 0 comments

A Legacy of Love

A Legacy of Love

A deadly plague broke out among Bnei Yisrael, punishing them for sinning with the daughters of Moav and worshipping their gods. Meanwhile, Zimri, the leader of the tribe of Shimon, publicly took a Midianite princess into his tent. Moshe and the elders were stunned.  Pinchas, remembering what Moshe had taught regarding such a situation, entered Zimri’s tent, caught him in […]

July 10, 2017 at 1:06 AM 0 comments

Grassroots Initiative

Grassroots Initiative

 A deathly plague was spreading among Bnei Yisrael, killing thousands of people. Meanwhile, Zimri, the leader of the tribe of Shimon, took a Midianite princess into his tent. Moshe, Elazar and the elders of Bnei Yisrael all witnessed Zimri’s brazen act, but were at a loss of how to respond. Pinchas, who had no previous position of importance, remembered what […]

July 9, 2017 at 2:38 AM 0 comments

Radical Blessings

Radical Blessings

“…Come, I will advise you… what this people will do to your people at the end of days…” – Bamidbar 24:14 לְכָה אִיעָצְךָ אֲשֶׁר יַעֲשֶׂה הָעָם הַזֶּה לְעַמְּךָ בְּאַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים – במדבר כד, יד Fearing that the Jews would wage war against him and conquer his land, Balak, the king of Moav, summoned the prophet Bilaam and asked him to curse them. […]

July 6, 2017 at 1:15 AM 0 comments

Beauty Lies in the Details

Beauty Lies in the Details

“…How beautiful are your tents, Yaakov!…” – Bamidbar 24:3 מַה טֹּבוּ אֹהָלֶיךָ יַעֲקֹב – במדבר כד, ג What was the beauty that Bilaam saw in Bnei Yisrael’s tents? The Talmud (Bava Basra 60a) explains that Bilaam observed that Bnei Yisrael arranged their tents in such a manner that the tents’ entrances did not exactly face one another. This practice reflected […]

July 5, 2017 at 2:12 AM 0 comments

Live Prey

Live Prey

“…Behold, a people that rises like a lioness, and raises itself like a lion…” – Bamidbar 23:24 הֶן עָם כְּלָבִיא יָקוּם וְכַאֲרִי יִתְנַשָּׂא – במדבר כג, כד Bilaam compared the Jewish people to lions. As interpreted by the Midrash Tanchuma, this comparison hints to the vigor with which the Jewish people recite the Shema, like a lion pouncing on its […]

July 4, 2017 at 1:06 AM 0 comments

Uncountable Mitzvos

Uncountable Mitzvos

“…Who has counted the dust of Yaakov?…” – Bamidbar 23:10 מִי מָנָה עֲפַר יַעֲקֹב – במדבר כג, י Bilaam’s plot to curse the Jewish people was foiled when G-d forced him to bless and praise them instead. Describing the Jewish people’s endearment to G-d, Bilaam said, “Who can count the dust of Yaakov?” According to one interpretation brought by Rashi, […]

July 3, 2017 at 1:30 AM 0 comments

Outnumbering

Outnumbering

“…Who has counted the dust of Yaakov?…” – Bamidbar 23:10 מִי מָנָה עֲפַר יַעֲקֹב – במדבר כג, י Bilaam attempted to curse the Bnei Yisrael, but G-d caused him to bless them and praise them instead. Extolling Bnei Yisrael’s great merits and their endearment to G-d, Bilaam said, “Who has counted the dust of Yaakov?” According to one interpretation brought […]

July 2, 2017 at 2:55 AM 0 comments

How I Really Feel About You

How I Really Feel About You

“…The entire house of Israel wept for Aharon for thirty days…” – Bamidbar 20:29 וַיִּבְכּוּ אֶת אַהֲרֹן שְׁלשִׁים יוֹם כֹּל בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל – במדבר כ, כט The Torah emphasizes that Aharon’s passing was mourned by the entire Jewish nation. The Midrash (Avos d’Rabbi Nosson 12:3) explains that Aharon was particularly beloved upon the people because he was active in restoring […]

June 29, 2017 at 1:29 AM 0 comments

Living On Edge

Living On Edge

“…They shall take to you a perfectly red heifer…” – Bamidbar 19:2 וְיִקְחוּ אֵלֶיךָ פָרָה אֲדֻמָּה תְּמִימָה – במדבר יט, ב The Rambam’s compendium of Jewish law, the Mishneh Torah, is famous for its precise wording and organization. It is therefore most unusual that in the midst of a discussion on the laws of the Parah Adumah, the ashes of […]

June 28, 2017 at 3:25 AM 0 comments

The Cow and the Calf

The Cow and the Calf

“…They shall take to you a perfectly red heifer…” – Bamidbar 19:2 וְיִקְחוּ אֵלֶיךָ פָרָה אֲדֻמָּה תְּמִימָה – במדבר יט, ב The ashes of the Parah Adumah were used for the ritual purification of people or articles that contracted impurity from a dead corpse. In order to remove this impurity, the Parah Adumah must also undo to some degree the […]

June 27, 2017 at 3:22 AM 0 comments

Is Death Final? Depends Who You Ask

Is Death Final? Depends Who You Ask

“…They shall take to you a perfectly red heifer…” – Bamidbar 19:2 וְיִקְחוּ אֵלֶיךָ פָרָה אֲדֻמָּה תְּמִימָה – במדבר יט, ב The Torah commands us to prepare the ashes of a parah adumah, a red heifer, for use in the ritual purification of people or articles that contracted impurity from a dead corpse. The Torah attributes this mitzvah to Moshe, […]

June 26, 2017 at 2:22 AM 0 comments

Irrational Judaism

Irrational Judaism

“…This is the decree of Torah that G-d commanded to say. Speak to Bnei Yisrael and have them take to you, a red heifer…” – Bamidbar 19:2 זֹאת חֻקַּת הַתּוֹרָה אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה ה’ לֵאמֹר דַּבֵּר אֶל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְיִקְחוּ אֵלֶיךָ פָרָה אֲדֻמָּה – במדבר יט, ב The Torah commands us to use the ashes of a parah adumah, a red […]

June 25, 2017 at 2:45 AM 0 comments

Same, Same but Different

Same, Same but Different

“…In the morning, G-d will make known who is His…” – Bamidbar 16:5 בֹּקֶר וְיֹדַע ה’ אֶת אֲשֶׁר לוֹ – במדבר טז, ה Korach and his followers took issue with Moshe’s authority over Bnei Yisrael. They acknowledged that G-d communicated the Torah directly to Moshe, and that Moshe was therefore superior to the rest of the nation in his understanding […]

June 21, 2017 at 2:11 AM 0 comments

Separate is Better than Equal

Separate is Better than Equal

“…In the morning, G-d will make known who is His, and who is holy, and He will draw [them] near to Him…” – Bamidbar 16:5 בֹּקֶר וְיֹדַע ה’ אֶת אֲשֶׁר לוֹ וְאֶת הַקָּדוֹשׁ וְהִקְרִיב אֵלָיו – במדבר טז, ה Korach fought for equality, which he believed to be the key to Jewish unity. “The entire congregation are all holy” (Bamidbar […]

June 20, 2017 at 7:01 AM 0 comments