Just Go Out…. – Parashat Ki Teitzei

Just Go Out…. – Parashat Ki Teitzei

“….If you go out to war against your enemies, and G-d, your G-d, will deliver him into your hands, and you will take his captives….” (Devarim 21:10) כִּי תֵצֵא לַמִּלְחָמָה עַל אֹיְבֶיךָ וּנְתָנוֹ ה’ אֱלֹקֶיךָ בְּיָדֶךָ וְשָׁבִיתָ שִׁבְיוֹ – דברים כא, י The wars addressed in this verse are not only those fought on the physical battlefield. The number one […]

September 11, 2019 at 1:47 AM 0 comments

Don’t Put Your Guests at Risk

Don’t Put Your Guests at Risk

“….When you build a new house you shall make a guardrail for your roof, so as not to cause blood in your house when the faller will fall from it….” (Devarim 22:8)    כי תבנה בית חדש ועשית מעקה לגגך ולא תשים דמים בביתך כי יפל הנפל ממנו  – דברים כב, ח   This verse speaks of building a home not […]

September 9, 2019 at 2:48 AM 0 comments

Beware of Heights – Parashat Ki Teitzei

Beware of Heights – Parashat Ki Teitzei

“…When you build a new house you shall make a guardrail for your roof, so as not to cause blood in your house; for he who falls will fall from it…..” (Devarim 22:8) כי תבנה בית חדש ועשית מעקה לגגך ולא תשים דמים בביתך כי יפל הנפל ממנו – דברים כב, ח “House” – This includes also the rooftop of […]

September 7, 2019 at 2:14 AM 0 comments

Planting Smart

Planting Smart

כִּי הָאָדָם עֵץ הַשָּׂדֶה – דברים כ, יט “…Is the tree of the field a man…” (Devarim 20:19) Translated literally, this verse is asking a rhetorical question: is the tree a human being? Why then should a tree be wantonly destroyed even when waging a war against the inhabitants of the city? We find, however, that the Talmud interprets this […]

August 31, 2019 at 2:50 AM 0 comments

Counseling Law

Counseling Law

“You shall set up judges and law enforcement officials for yourself in all your cities…” – Devarim 16:18 שפטים ושטרים תתן לך בכל שעריך – דברים טז, יח In every city where Jews live, the Torah instructs us to set up court systems comprising judges who determine the law, and officials who enforce the judges’ rulings. In the prophecies regarding […]

August 30, 2019 at 2:10 AM 0 comments

Love What You Learn – Parashat Shoftim

Love What You Learn – Parashat Shoftim

You may eat from them, but you shall not cut them down. Is the man a tree of the field? (Devarim 20:19) “The man a tree of the field” …If a Torah scholar is upright, you should benefit from him (alone – Tosfos) and not cut off from him. —Talmud, Taanis 7a The Talmud interprets this verse as reference to […]

August 27, 2019 at 3:40 PM 0 comments

The Real King

The Real King

שׂוֹם תָּשִׂים עָלֶיךָ מֶלֶךְ – דברים יז, טו “…..You shall appoint a king over you….” (Devarim 17:15) When a king is appointed, he is anointed with oil. —Rambam, Hilchos Melachim 1:7 When stating the mitzvah to appoint a king, the Torah does not mention the process of anointing the king with oil. Furthermore, Yehoshua is considered to have the Halachic […]

August 22, 2019 at 3:52 PM 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 18, 2019 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 17, 2019 at 2:55 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 […]

July 8, 2019 at 2:45 AM 0 comments

When Moshe Forgives

When Moshe Forgives

“…The people came to Moshe and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against G-d and against you…” So Moshe prayed on behalf of the people…” – Bamidbar 21:7 וַיָּבֹא הָעָם אֶל משֶׁה וַיֹּאמְרוּ חָטָאנוּ כִּי דִבַּרְנוּ בַה’ וָבָךְ . . וַיִּתְפַּלֵּל משֶׁה בְּעַד הָעָם – במדבר כא, ז The Bnei Yisrael spoke against G-d and Moshe and were […]

July 7, 2019 at 7:16 PM 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 […]

July 7, 2019 at 1:25 AM 0 comments

Where More is Less

Where More is Less

“…They brought their offering before G-d: six covered wagons and twelve oxen, a wagon from each two princes, and an ox from each one…” – Bamidbar 7:3 וַיָּבִיאוּ אֶת קָרְבָּנָם לִפְנֵי ה’ שֵׁשׁ עֶגְלֹת צָב וּשְׁנֵי עָשָׂר בָּקָר עֲגָלָה עַל שְׁנֵי הַנְּשִׂאִים וְשׁוֹר לְאֶחָד – במדבר ז, ג The generosity of Bnei Yisrael in their donation of materials for the […]

June 3, 2019 at 2:50 PM 0 comments

Holistic Healing

Holistic Healing

“…They shall confess the sin they committed…” – Bamidbar 5:7 וְהִתְוַדּוּ אֶת חַטָּאתָם אֲשֶׁר עָשׂוּ – במדבר ה, ז The Rambam writes in Sefer Hamitzvos: “The 73rd mitzvah is that we are commanded to verbally acknowledge the sins we have committed before G-d, exalted be He, when we repent from them… As the Torah states, ‘They shall confess the sin […]

June 2, 2019 at 1:13 AM 0 comments

How to Give

How to Give

“…Every raised-offering of all the holy things that the children of Israel bring to the kohen, it shall be his…” – Bamidbar 5:9 וְכָל תְּרוּמָה לְכָל קָדְשֵׁי בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר יַקְרִיבוּ לַכֹּהֵן לוֹ יִהְיֶה – במדבר ה, ט Rashi explains that this verse comes to teach us that bikkurim are given to the kohen. Elsewhere (Shemos 23:19), the Torah instructs […]

June 1, 2019 at 2:40 PM 0 comments

Choose Your Neighbors Carefully

Choose Your Neighbors Carefully

“…The families of the sons of Kehos shall camp to the south side of the Mishkan…” – Bamidbar 3:29 מִשְׁפְּחֹת בְּנֵי קְהָת יַחֲנוּ עַל יֶרֶךְ הַמִּשְׁכָּן תֵּימָנָה – במדבר ג, כט The tribe of Levi camped on all four sides of the Mishkan, and around them the other twelve tribes camped, three tribes on each side. Rashi notes that the […]

May 31, 2019 at 2:28 AM 0 comments

The Unlucky Child

The Unlucky Child

“…The Torah speaks of four children: One is wise, one is wicked, one is simple and one does not know how to ask…” – The Haggadah כְּנֶגֶד אַרְבָּעָה בָנִים דִּבְּרָה תוֹרָה: אֶחָד חָכָם. וְאֶחָד רָשָׁע. וְאֶחָד תָּם. וְאֶחָד שֶׁאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ לִשְׁאוֹל – הגדה של פסח In four places, the Torah instructs us to relate the story and mitzvos of Pesach […]

April 13, 2019 at 2:39 AM 0 comments

Why is the Wicked Son at the Seder?

Why is the Wicked Son at the Seder?

“…The wicked one, what does he say? “What is this worship to you?” …Say to him: “It is for this that G-d did for me when I left Egypt;” i.e., ‘for me,’ but not for him. If he had been there, he would not have been redeemed…” (The Haggadah) רָשָׁע מָה הוּא אוֹמֵר? מָה הָעֲבוֹדָה הַזּאֹת לָכֶם..וֶאֱמוֹר לוֹ בַּעֲבוּר זֶה […]

April 12, 2019 at 2:15 AM 0 comments

The Holiday of Faith

The Holiday of Faith

“…In every generation, a person is obligated to regard himself as if he had come out of Egypt…” – The Haggadah בְּכָל דּוֹר וָדוֹר חַיָּב אָדָם לִרְאוֹת אֶת עַצְמוֹ כְּאִלּוּ הוּא יָצָא מִמִּצְרָיִם – הגדה של פסח One of the most remarkable aspects of Bnei Yisrael’s exodus from Egypt is the simple trust that they had in Moshe and in […]

April 11, 2019 at 3:20 AM 0 comments

The Miracle of Freedom

The Miracle of Freedom

“…Who redeemed us and redeemed our ancestors from Egypt…” (The Haggadah) אֲשֶׁר גְּאָלָנוּ וְגָאַל אֶת אֲבוֹתֵינוּ מִמִּצְרַיִם – הגדה של פסח The Torah instructs us to relate to our children in every generation that, “G-d acted on my behalf when I went out of Egypt” (Shemos 13:8). This indicates that our freedom today is not only the result of G-d’s redemption of our ancestors; […]

April 10, 2019 at 2:54 AM 0 comments