The Joy of Achievement

The Joy of Achievement

“…And to Zevulun he said: “rejoice, Zevulun, in your departure, and Yissachar, in your tents…” Devarim 33:18     ולזבולן אמר שמח זבולן בצאתך ויששכר באהליך – דברים לג, יח Moshe’s blessing to Zevulun and Yissachar distinguishes itself by its emphasis on their roles being a source of joy, “Rejoice, Zevulun, in your departure, and Yissachar, in your tents.” This can be […]

October 20, 2016 at 2:15 PM 0 comments

Humble As Ever

Humble As Ever

“…And Moshe came and spoke all the words of this song in the ears of the people, he, and hoshea son of nun…” – Devarim 32:44     ויבא משה וידבר את כל דברי השירה הזאת באזני העם הוא והושע בן נון – דברים לב, מד The Torah recounts the first time that Moshe and Yehoshua jointly addressed Bnei Yisrael: “And Moshe came […]

October 13, 2016 at 1:05 AM 0 comments

Finding Faith

Finding Faith

“…He found them in a desert land…” –  Devarim 32:10 ימצאהו בארץ מדבר – דברים לב, י Rashi explains this verse as praise of the Jewish people: “G-d found them faithful to Him in a desert land, for they accepted His Torah, His sovereignty and His yoke upon themselves.” Why does the Torah refer to the Jewish people’s faith as something […]

October 11, 2016 at 2:11 PM 0 comments

Close to the Heavens

Close to the Heavens

“…Listen, o heavens, and i will speak; and let the earth hear the words of my mouth…” – Devarim 32:1     האזינו השמים ואדברה ותשמע הארץ אמרי פי – דברים לב, א The Sifri observes that when Moshe addressed the heavens, he said הַאֲזִינוּ, which means, “listen,” whereas when he addressed the earth, he said וְתִשְׁמַע, which means, “hear.” The […]

October 10, 2016 at 9:06 AM 0 comments

Moshe’s Retirement

Moshe’s Retirement

“….Assemble to me all the elders of your tribes and your officers, and i will speak these words into their ears…. (Devarim 31:28)

October 7, 2016 at 2:14 AM 0 comments

Two Last Instructions

Two Last Instructions

“Assemble the people… in order that they hear, and in order that they learn and fear Hashem, your G-d, and they will be careful to do all the words of this Torah. …and now, write for yourselves this song, and teach it to the children of Israel; place it into their mouths…” – Devarim 31:12-19 הַקְהֵל אֶת הָעָם . . […]

October 4, 2016 at 10:51 AM 0 comments

Hakhel: Bracing for Change

Hakhel: Bracing for Change

….Assemble the people: The men , the women and the children, and your strangers in your cities, in order that they hear, and in order that they learn and fear G-od, your G-od and they will observe to do all the words of this Torah…. (Devarim 31:12)   Hakhel is observed every seven years, in the year following Shemitah. Why […]

October 3, 2016 at 4:17 PM 0 comments

The Perfectly Timed Yartzeit

The Perfectly Timed Yartzeit

“….This day I am one hundred and twenty years old, I can no longer go or come…..”(Devarim 31:2) The Talmud (Kiddushin 38a) explains: ‘This day’ need not be stated; why then is it stated? It teaches that G-d sits and completes the years of the righteous from day to day and month to month. The Tanya (Igeres Hakodesh 27) teaches […]

October 2, 2016 at 8:09 PM 0 comments

Parashat Ki Tavo – Graduation….

Parashat Ki Tavo – Graduation….

Parashat Ki Tavo “…..Yet until this day, g-d did not give you a heart to know, eyes to see, and ears to hear. i led you through the desert for forty years… you must safeguard the words that constitute this covenant….” (Devarim 29:3-8) …ולא נתן ה’ לכם לב לדעת ועינים לראות ואזנים לשמוע עד היום הזה; ואולך אתכם ארבעים שנה במדבר.. […]

September 23, 2016 at 2:52 AM 0 comments

Don’t Make Yourself at Home….

Don’t Make Yourself at Home….

“….And he went down to Egypt and sojourned there with a small number of people ….” (Devarim 26:5) וַיֵּרֶד מִצְרַיְמָה וַיָּגָר שָׁם בִּמְתֵי מְעָט – דברים כו, ה And he went down to Egypt – forced by Divine decree. —Passover Hagaddah If Yaakov’s descent to Egypt was by Divine instruction, why did Yaakov feel forced? Could it be that Yaakov, […]

September 20, 2016 at 2:13 AM 0 comments

Holy Matrimony – Parashat Ki Teitzei

Holy Matrimony – Parashat Ki Teitzei

“……..When a man takes a wife… “(Devarim 24:1) כי יקח איש אשה ובעלה והיה – דברים כד, א Once the Torah was given, the Jews were commanded that when a man desires to marry a woman, he must acquire her as a wife in the presence of witnesses and only after this does she become his wife. This is stated in […]

September 15, 2016 at 2:12 AM 0 comments

Jews and Dues

Jews and Dues

“….You may offer interest to a gentile, but to your brother you shall not offer interest….” (Devarim 23:21) לנכרי תשיך ולאחיך לא תשיך – דברים כג, כא Offering – and taking – interest from “your brother” is prohibited; from people at large, by contrast, it is permitted. It is a positive mitzvah to lend money to a gentile at interest, […]

September 14, 2016 at 8:13 PM 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 23, 2016 at 2:10 AM 0 comments

How to Avoid the Long Arm of the Law

How to Avoid the Long Arm of the Law

“….You shall set up judges and law enforcement officials for yourself in all your cities….” (Devarim 16:18) Effective governance relies on judges to establish the law, and law enforcement officials to ensure that the law is being upheld by all the citizens. Yet, of the future era of Moshiach, the prophet Yeshayahu (1:26) prophesied, “And I will restore your judges […]

August 22, 2016 at 2:01 AM 0 comments

The Greatest Praise of All

The Greatest Praise of All

“…And all the mighty hand, and all the great awe, which Moshe performed before the eyes of all Israel…” – Devarim 32:10 The final verses of the Torah describe the remarkable person of Moshe, his unparalleled level of prophecy and his unmatched accomplishments. Rashi adds that the words, “which Moshe performed before the eyes of all of Israel,” refer to […]

October 2, 2015 at 4:02 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

Being Kind by Accident – Parashat Ki Teitzei

Being Kind by Accident – Parashat Ki Teitzei

“….When you reap your harvest in your field and forget a bundle in the field, you shall not go back to take it; it shall be for the stranger, the orphan, and the widow, so that G-d, your G-d, will bless you in all that you do……” (Devarim 24:19) כִּי תִקְצֹר קְצִירְךָ בְשָׂדֶךָ וְשָׁכַחְתָּ עֹמֶר בַּשָּׂדֶה לֹא תָשׁוּב לְקַחְתּוֹ לַגֵּר […]

August 23, 2015 at 12:12 PM 0 comments

Beis HaBechirah: Categorically Perfect

Beis HaBechirah: Categorically Perfect

“…A stone that is chipped to the extent that it can be sensed by a fingernail… is disqualified for use in the altar or the ramp, as [Devarim 27:6] states: “You shall build the Altar of G-d with whole stones”… If a stone was damaged or touched by iron after it was built into the Altar or the ramp, that […]

July 24, 2015 at 2:04 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, 2014 at 3:40 PM 0 comments