The Hardest Thing to Change is Your Self

The Hardest Thing to Change is Your Self

“…If a woman conceives and gives birth to a male, she shall be unclean for seven days…” – Vayikra 12:2 אִשָּׁה כִּי תַזְרִיעַ וְיָלְדָה זָכָר וְטָמְאָה שִׁבְעַת יָמִים – ויקרא יב, ב Parshas Tazria addresses several impurities associated with the human body and teaches us their means of purification. Rashi notes that this discussion follows the discussion in the previous […]

April 4, 2016 at 6:03 PM 0 comments

Seeds of Rebirth

Seeds of Rebirth

“…If a woman conceives and gives birth…” – Vayikra 12:2 אִשָּׁה כִּי תַזְרִיעַ וְיָלְדָה – ויקרא יב, ב Parshas Tazria derives its name from the brief discussion at the start of the parsha about the laws pertaining to childbirth. The bulk of the parsha, however, deals with laws concerning tzora’as, a supernatural condition affecting one’s skin, clothing, or the walls […]

April 3, 2016 at 3:00 AM 0 comments

Fins and Scales

Fins and Scales

“…From all that are in the water, you may eat any (living creature) that has fins and scales, whether it lives in the waters, seas, or rivers; you may eat only these…” – Vayikra 11:9 אֶת זֶה תֹּאכְלוּ מִכֹּל אֲשֶׁר בַּמָּיִם כֹּל אֲשֶׁר לוֹ סְנַפִּיר וְקַשְׂקֶשֶׂת בַּמַּיִם בַּיַּמִּים וּבַנְּחָלִים אֹתָם תֹּאכֵלוּ – ויקרא יא, ט Two distinctive features identify a […]

March 30, 2016 at 1:32 PM 0 comments

Esther’s Fast

Esther’s Fast

All Jewish people today customarily fast on the 13th of Adar, in remembrance of the fast that they fasted in the days of Haman, as is written (Esther 9:31), “the matter of the fasts and the outcries.” (Rambam, Hilchos Taaniyos 5:5) ונהגו כל ישראל בזמנים אלו להתענות בי”ג באדר זכר לתענית שהתענו בימי המן שנאמר דברי הצומות וזעקתם – רמב”ם […]

March 23, 2016 at 5:43 AM Comments are Disabled

Self-Construction

Self-Construction

“…And it came to pass in the first month, in the second year, on the first day of the month, the Mishkan was erected…” – Shemos 40:17 וַיְהִי בַּחֹדֶשׁ הָרִאשׁוֹן בַּשָּׁנָה הַשֵּׁנִית בְּאֶחָד לַחֹדֶשׁ הוּקַם הַמִּשְׁכָּן – שמות מ, יז A seven-day training and initiating period for the Kohanim preceded the official erecting of the Mishkan on the 1st day of […]

March 10, 2016 at 2:04 AM 0 comments

It’s How You Wear It

It’s How You Wear It

“…And they made Aharon’s holy garments, as G-d had commanded Moshe…” – Shemos 39:1 וַיַּעֲשׂוּ אֶת בִּגְדֵי הַקֹּדֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר לְאַהֲרֹן כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה ה’ אֶת משֶׁה – שמות לט, א The construction of the Mishkan and all its contents is recounted in Parshas Vayakhel. Then, in Parshas Pikudei, we read how Bnei Yisrael brought all the finished work before Moshe, who […]

March 9, 2016 at 7:38 AM 0 comments

The Collateral

The Collateral

“…These are the numbers of the Mishkan, the Mishkan of the testimony…” – Shemot 38:21 אֵלֶּה פְקוּדֵי הַמִּשְׁכָּן מִשְׁכַּן הָעֵדֻת – שמות לח, כא Rashi takes note of the Torah’s uncharacteristic repetition of the word mishkan in this verse, and explains it based on the similarity between the word mishkan, מִשְׁכָּן, and the word mashkon, מִשְׁכָּן, a security deposit. “This [repetition] alludes to the Mikdash, […]

March 6, 2016 at 5:31 PM 0 comments

The Rear-view Mirror

The Rear-view Mirror

“…And he made the copper washbasin and its copper base from the mirrors of the legions of women…” – Shemos 38:8 וַיַּעַשׂ אֵת הַכִּיּוֹר נְחשֶׁת וְאֵת כַּנּוֹ נְחשֶׁת בְּמַרְאֹת הַצֹּבְאֹת – שמות לח, ח The Talmud (Yevamos 49b) contrasts Moshe with all the other prophets: “All the prophets looked into a dim glass, but Moshe looked through an illuminated glass.” […]

March 4, 2016 at 2:24 AM 0 comments

The Shabbos Spell

The Shabbos Spell

“…For six days, work shall be done; on the seventh day, you shall have sanctity, a Shabbos of complete rest to G-d…” – Shemot 35:2 שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים תֵּעָשֶׂה מְלָאכָה וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי יִהְיֶה לָכֶם קֹדֶשׁ שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן לַה’ – שמות לה, ב The command of Shabbos observance is first stated in the Aseres Hadibros, the Ten Commandments (Shemot 20:9-10): שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים […]

March 1, 2016 at 3:47 AM 0 comments

Fasten Your Avnet – Parashat Tetzaveh

Fasten Your Avnet – Parashat Tetzaveh

“…And you shall make a sash of embroidery work…” – Shemos 28:39 וְאַבְנֵט תַּעֲשֶׂה מַעֲשֵׂה רֹקֵם – שמות כח, לט In a splendid manner, the vestments of the Kohanim each garb a specific part of the body. Even the Kohen Gadol’s additional garments each serve a defined purpose: wearing the Tzitz brought atonement for Bnei Yisrael, the breastplate is made […]

February 17, 2016 at 1:31 AM 0 comments

Brazen as Brass, Soft as Soil

Brazen as Brass, Soft as Soil

“…You shall make the altar… and you shall coat it with copper. …You shall make it hollow, out of panels…” – Shemos 27:1-8 וְעָשִׂיתָ אֶת הַמִּזְבֵּח . . וְצִפִּיתָ אֹתוֹ נְחשֶׁת . . נְבוּב לֻחֹת תַּעֲשֶׂה אֹתוֹ – שמות כז, א-ח The outer mizbei’ach, the altar that stood in the courtyard of the Mishkan, was coated with a layer of […]

February 12, 2016 at 3:07 AM 0 comments

Judge My Actions, Not My Plans

Judge My Actions, Not My Plans

“…And Yosef sustained his father and his brothers and his father’s entire household [with] bread according to the young children. – Bereishis 47:12 וַיְכַלְכֵּל יוֹסֵף אֶת אָבִיו וְאֶת אֶחָיו וְאֵת כָּל בֵּית אָבִיו לֶחֶם לְפִי הַטָּף – בראשית מז, יב The Book of Tehillim (80:2) calls G-d “the shepherd of Israel… He who leads Yosef like flocks of sheep.” The Midrash interprets […]

December 18, 2015 at 11:33 AM 0 comments

Teshuvah: Accepting Personal Responsibility

Teshuvah: Accepting Personal Responsibility

“…And they said to one another, “indeed, we are guilty for our brother, that we witnessed the distress of his soul when he begged us, and we did not listen. that is why this trouble has come upon us.” and Reuven answered them, saying, “didn’t i tell you, saying, ‘do not sin against the lad,’ but you did not listen?” […]

December 11, 2015 at 6:45 AM 0 comments

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

The image of Yaakov’s face appeared to Yosef just moments before he succumbed to his master’s wife’s advances, says the Talmud, and ultimately saved him from sinning. The Talmud implies that this was more than just a reminder to Yosef of the ethical standards with which he was raised; rather, it was the appearance of Yaakov’s face that gave Yosef the courage […]

December 4, 2015 at 12:27 AM 1 comment

The Unsettled Jew – Parashat Vayishlach

The Unsettled Jew – Parashat Vayishlach

Eisav’s move was motivated by very practical considerations. He knew that the Land of Canaan had been promised to the descendants of Avraham, but it came with a price tag. Whoever would inherit the Promised Land would first pay off the “family debt”: G-d’s decree that Avraham’s descendants would be “strangers in a land that is not theirs” (Beraishis 15:13). In […]

November 27, 2015 at 2:03 AM 0 comments

Eisav’s Yom Kippur – Parashat Vayishlach

Eisav’s Yom Kippur – Parashat Vayishlach

By marrying a woman from the family of Avraham, Eisav sought to convince his parents that he was pursuing a more righteous life. Rashi (28:9) sums up Eisav’s hypocrisy, saying, “he added wickedness upon his wickedness, for he did not divorce his other wives.” Yet, in reference to this marriage of convenience, or even worse, this marriage of deceit, the […]

November 26, 2015 at 2:14 AM 0 comments

A Seat for G-d, A Stage for Mankind – Parashat Vayeira

A Seat for G-d, A Stage for Mankind – Parashat Vayeira

Avraham’s prayers were granted. The location of the Akeida, the Binding of Yitzchak, was chosen by G-d as the place of the mizbei’ach, the altar in the Beis Hamikdash. The Beis Hamikdash would be designated as both the epicenter of Divine worship, “a House for G-d, prepared for sacrifices to be offered within,” as well as, “where we celebrate three […]

October 30, 2015 at 3:35 AM 0 comments

Your Brother’s Comfort is Your Own

Your Brother’s Comfort is Your Own

“…On the third of Mar-Cheshvan, we begin the prayers requesting rain. r’ Gamliel says: on the seventh of the month—fifteen days after the festival of Sukkos—in order that the last jew might have reached the river euphrates…” –  (Mishna, Taanis 1:3) בשלושה במרחשוון שואלים את הגשמים. רבן גמליאל אומר, בשבעה בו; חמישה עשר יום אחר החג, כדי שיגיע האחרון שבישראל […]

October 22, 2015 at 9:26 AM 0 comments

Born to Work

Born to Work

“…And G-d took the man and he placed him in the garden of eden to work it and to guard it…” – beraishis 2:15 וַיִּקַּח ה’ אֱלֹקִים אֶת הָאָדָם וַיַּנִּחֵהוּ בְגַן עֵדֶן לְעָבְדָהּ וּלְשָׁמְרָהּ – בראשית ב, טו   “Man is born for toil,” says the verse in Iyov (5:7). Therefore, already from the very beginning of man’s existence, G-d placed […]

October 9, 2015 at 4:43 PM 0 comments

Angels at Risk – Parashat Ha’azinu

Angels at Risk – Parashat Ha’azinu

“…..As an eagle awakens its nest, hovering over it’s fledglings, it spreads it’s wings when taking them and carrying them on it’s wings…” – Devorim 32:11 ״…. כנשר יעיר קנו על גוזליו ירחף יפרש כנפיו יקחהו ישאהו על אברתו…״ – דברים לב, יא Angels are spiritual beings, invulnerable to physical harm by arrows and stones. How then can an angel […]

September 24, 2015 at 2:24 PM 0 comments