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

The Mishkan Again?

The Mishkan Again?

“…And Moshe spoke to the entire community of Bnei Israel, saying: this is the word that g-d has commanded…” –  Shemos 35:4 וַיֹּאמֶר משֶׁה אֶל כָּל עֲדַת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר זֶה הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה ה’ – שמות לה, ד The Torah’s wording is concise, even cryptic at times; an extra word or even letter is already cause for discussion among the […]

February 26, 2019 at 1:25 AM 0 comments

Preoccupied – Parashat Vayakhel

Preoccupied – Parashat Vayakhel

“…Moshe assembled the entire community… “these are the things that g-d commanded to be done” – Shemot 35:1 וַיַּקְהֵל משֶׁה אֶת כָּל עֲדַת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל. . אֵלֶּה הַדְּבָרִים אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה ה’ לַעֲשׂת אֹתָם – שמות לה, א After prevailing upon G-d to wholeheartedly forgive Bnei Yisrael for the sin of the Golden Calf, Moshe descended from Mount Sinai, bringing with him the […]

February 25, 2019 at 1:36 AM 0 comments

Taking Donations from Children

Taking Donations from Children

“…And Moshe assembled the entire community of Bnei Israel…” – Shemos 35:1 וַיַּקְהֵל משֶׁה אֶת כָּל עֲדַת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל – שמות לה, א Moshe assembled “the entire community of Bnei Yisrael” when he announced G-d’s command to gather the materials necessary and construct the Mishkan. According to the Ohr Hachaim, the Torah’s emphasis that Moshe assembled the entire community teaches us […]

February 24, 2019 at 12:41 PM 0 comments

Man’s Highest Calling

Man’s Highest Calling

“…Speak to Bnei Yisrael and have a contribution taken for me…” – Shemos 25:2 דַּבֵּר אֶל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְיִקְחוּ לִי תְּרוּמָה – שמות כה, ב According to one opinion in the Zohar (vol. 2 p. 224a), both the commandment to build the Mishkan, as well as Bnei Yisrael’s donation of materials for its construction, took place immediately after the Giving of […]

February 2, 2019 at 6:03 AM 0 comments

Baby Face – Parashat Terumah

Baby Face – Parashat Terumah

“…And you shall make two golden cherubim…” – Shemos 25:18 וְעָשִׂיתָ שְׁנַיִם כְּרֻבִים זָהָב – שמות כה, יח The Keruvim had facial features like those of a baby (see Rashi). This symbolized G-d’s affection for the Jewish people, which is comparable to the love one has for a small child. As the Baal Haturim on this verse cites from the […]

February 1, 2019 at 1:32 AM 0 comments

Shock and Awe – Parashat Yitro

Shock and Awe – Parashat Yitro

“…And it came to pass on the third day as morning dawned, there was thunder and lightning… and the entire nation that was in the camp shuddered…” – Shemot 19:16 וַיְהִי בַיּוֹם הַשְּׁלִישִׁי בִּהְיֹת הַבֹּקֶר וַיְהִי קֹלֹת וּבְרָקִים . . וַיֶּחֱרַד כָּל הָעָם אֲשֶׁר בַּמַּחֲנֶה – שמות יט, טז If to instill fear alone, the thunder and lightning storm that […]

January 22, 2019 at 1:11 AM 0 comments

Who Wouldn’t Want the Torah?

Who Wouldn’t Want the Torah?

“….And they stood at the bottom of the mountain….” – Shemot 19:17 וַיִּתְיַצְּבוּ בְּתַחְתִּית הָהָר – שמות יט, יז According to the Talmud, the words “at the bottom of the mountain” mean that G-d raised Mt. Sinai over Bnei Yisrael and said to them, “If you accept the Torah, that’s great. But if not, you will be summarily buried beneath […]

January 21, 2019 at 1:25 AM 0 comments