Lasting Effect

Lasting Effect

“…And my covenant shall be in your flesh as an everlasting covenant…” – Bereishit 17:13 והיתה בריתי בבשרכם לברית עולם – בראשית יז, יג “Our father Avraham observed the entire Torah before it was given,” says the Talmud (Kiddushin 82a). Chassidus explains, however, that the mitzvos our forefathers observed of their own initiative did not have the ability to impact and […]

October 12, 2018 at 2:45 AM 0 comments

The Reasonable Bad Guy

The Reasonable Bad Guy

Og was a rationalist and a cynic (see Beraishis Rabba 53), but he could still respect humanitarian causes based on rhyme and reason. So it wasn’t surprising that he’d encourage Avram to save his own flesh and blood from captivity. Yet, at their root, Og’s motives were entirely impure. For though the cause was justified and logical, Og knew that […]

October 12, 2018 at 1:42 AM 0 comments

Old Enough For What?

Old Enough For What?

In a covenant, the two parties commit to remain devoted to each other unconditionally, even if eventual discoveries or circumstances might be cause for them to lose favor in each other’s eyes. Yet, human beings are inherently limited and therefore undergo constant changes, such that there is no way to guarantee that even a covenant will truly last forever. The […]

October 12, 2018 at 12:01 AM 0 comments

The Only Self to Sacrifice is Your Own

The Only Self to Sacrifice is Your Own

“….And only Noach and those with him in the Ark survived….” (Bereishit 7:23) ״…וישאר אך נח ואשר אתו בתבה…״ – בראשית ז,כג In our holy task of providing the world with its spiritual sustenance, we must take a lesson from Noach’s devotion to tending to the needs of his passengers and dependents, the animal kingdom. Despite his saintliness and piety, Noach […]

October 6, 2018 at 2:28 AM 1 comment

Living the Dream – Parashat Noach

Living the Dream – Parashat Noach

 ״….צא מן התבה אתה ואשתך ובניך ונשי בניך אתך: כל החיה אשר אתך מכל בשר בעוף ובבהמה ובכל הרמש הרומש על הארץ הוצא אתך….״ – בראשית ח, טז-יז In his prophecies of the Messianic era, Yeshayahu (11:6) describes how “the wolf shall live with the lamb, and a leopard shall lie with a young goat…and a small child shall lead […]

October 6, 2018 at 1:18 AM 3 comments

Choose Your Role Models Carefully – Parashat Noach

Choose Your Role Models Carefully – Parashat Noach

“…..Noach was a righteous man, perfect in his generations….” – (Bereishit 6:9) ״…נח איש צדיק תמים היה בדורותיו…״ – בראשית ו,ט The two opinions brought by Rashi do not necessarily disagree regarding Noach’s actual level of righteousness. It’s possible that all agree that in comparison to Avraham, Noach’s righteousness was far from ideal.  Nevertheless, Noach was not entirely to blame […]

October 5, 2018 at 5:23 PM 3 comments

The Maturing of Humankind – Parashat Noach

The Maturing of Humankind – Parashat Noach

In the aftermath of the Flood, the world was introduced to two seemingly opposite extremes. On the one hand, the earth achieved stability and permanence – after the Flood, G-d swore to never again destroy the world. Conversely, the human life span was drastically shortened: from an average close to 1000 years before the Flood, to an average of 100-200 […]

October 5, 2018 at 2:46 PM 0 comments

You Will, But When Already?

You Will, But When Already?

“…And it was evening and it was morning, the sixth day…” – Bereishit 1:31 וירא אלהים את כל אשר עשה והנה טוב מאד ויהי ערב ויהי בקר יום הששי   – בראשית א, לא At the conclusion of its account of the first day of creation, the Torah sums up the day saying, “It was evening and it was morning, one […]

October 1, 2018 at 1:44 AM 0 comments

Solid Backing

Solid Backing

“…..You are all Standing today before G-od, your G-od: the leaders of your tribes, your elders and your officers, every man of Israel, your young children, your women, and your convert who is within your camp, both your woodcutters and your water drawers. So that you may enter the covenant of G-od, your G-od…” – Devarim 29:9-11 אַתֶּם נִצָּבִים הַיּוֹם […]

September 3, 2018 at 2:08 AM 0 comments

Can Teshuvah Be an Obligation?

Can Teshuvah Be an Obligation?

“…And you will return to Hashem your G-d, and you will listen to His voice…” – Devarim 30:2 וְשַׁבְתָּ עַד ה’ אֱלֹקֶיךָ וְשָׁמַעְתָּ בְקֹלוֹ – דברים ל, ב The Sefer Mitzvos Katan (#53) interprets this verse as a command to do teshuvah; meaning, one has a positive obligation to repent, and has neglected a mitzvah if he does not. Others, however, […]

September 2, 2018 at 2:29 AM 0 comments

Your Happiness is My Happiness

Your Happiness is My Happiness

“…And it will be, when you come into the land which G-d, your G-d, gives you for an inheritance, and you possess it and settle in it, that you shall take of the first of all the fruit of the ground… ” (Devarim 26:1-2) וְהָיָה כִּי תָבוֹא אֶל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר ה’ אֱלֹקֶיךָ נֹתֵן לְךָ נַחֲלָה וִירִשְׁתָּהּ וְיָשַׁבְתָּ בָּהּ וְלָקַחְתָּ מֵרֵאשִׁית […]

August 28, 2018 at 2:49 AM 0 comments

Raising Children: The Hardest Job of All….

Raising Children: The Hardest Job of All….

“…So we cried out to Hashem, G-d of our fathers, and G-d heard our voice and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression…” –  (Devarim 26:7) וַנִּצְעַק אֶל ה’ אֱלֹקֵי אֲבֹתֵינוּ וַיִּשְׁמַע ה’ אֶת קֹלֵנוּ וַיַּרְא אֶת עָנְיֵנוּ וְאֶת עֲמָלֵנוּ וְאֶת לַחֲצֵנוּ – דברים כו, ז Our toil – these are the sons, as it is written “Every son […]

August 27, 2018 at 2:59 AM 0 comments

Monarch Psychology… – Parashat Ki Tavo

Monarch Psychology… – Parashat Ki Tavo

Parashat Ki Tavo “…..G-D HAS SET YOU APART THIS DAY TO BE HIS TREASURED PEOPLE, JUST AS HE SPOKE CONCERNING YOU…..” (DEVARIM 26:18) In Shemos 19:5, Rashi explains the significance of being G-d’s “treasure”:   A beloved treasure, like “and the treasures (וּסְגֻלַּת) of the kings” (Koheles 2:8) – costly vessels and precious stones, which the kings store away. Likewise, […]

August 26, 2018 at 7:07 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 happy” […]

August 5, 2018 at 1:15 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 5, 2018 at 1:05 AM 0 comments

The Seasons: A Cycle of Growth

The Seasons: A Cycle of Growth

“…Safeguard the month of spring, and offer a Pesach to G-d…” – Devarim 16:1 We are commanded to set up the calendar in a manner that ensures that the holiday of Pesach will always be in the spring. The season of spring and its symbolism teach us a most uplifting and inspirational lesson. Throughout the winter, the earth’s processes of […]

August 5, 2018 at 1:01 AM 0 comments

Enjoying the Joy of Yom Tov

Enjoying the Joy of Yom Tov

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 5, 2018 at 1:01 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 […]

July 29, 2018 at 2:20 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 […]

July 29, 2018 at 2:11 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 […]

July 29, 2018 at 1:29 AM 0 comments