It’s All in the Aleph

It’s All in the Aleph

“…And He called to Moshe…” – Vayikra 1:1 וַיִּקְרָא אֶל משֶׁה – ויקרא א ,א The word ויקרא, and he called, concludes with a paradoxical letter א. The letter’s name, aleph, parallels the word aluf, meaning chieftain—an allusion to G-d, “Chieftain of the universe” (Likkutei Torah, Tazria 23c). (In addition, the letter א used here distinguishes G-d’s communication with Moshe […]

March 22, 2020 at 3:30 AM 0 comments

What Do You Crave? – Parashat Vayikra

What Do You Crave? – Parashat Vayikra

“…But he does not know, he is guilty and shall bear his transgression…” – Vayikra 5:17 וְלֹא יָדַע וְאָשֵׁם וְנָשָׂא עֲוֹנו – ויקרא ה, יז Why is it necessary to atone for transgressions that were committed unknowingly, especially if one is doubtful if he transgressed at all? Chassidus explains that although the actual transgression was not committed intentionally, yet its […]

March 22, 2020 at 1:05 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 […]

March 16, 2020 at 1:36 AM 0 comments

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 15, 2020 at 2:04 AM 0 comments

Don’t Sacrifice Your Heart – Parashat Tetzaveh

Don’t Sacrifice Your Heart – Parashat Tetzaveh

“…You shall not offer upon it any other incense, burnt-offering, or flour-offering, and you shall pour no libation upon it…” – Shemot 30:9   The Inner Mizbei’ach, the golden altar which stood in the sanctuary of the Mishkan, was used exclusively for the offering of Ketores, incense. All other Korbanos, the animal and grain offerings, were brought only on the […]

March 1, 2020 at 2:38 AM 0 comments

Sounds from a Distance – Parashat Tetzaveh

Sounds from a Distance – Parashat Tetzaveh

“….And its sound shall be heard when he enters the Holy before G-d and when he leaves, so that he will not die….” – Shemos 28:34-35   וְנִשְׁמַע קוֹלוֹ בְּבֹאוֹ אֶל הַקֹּדֶשׁ לִפְנֵי ה’ וּבְצֵאתוֹ וְלֹא יָמוּת – שמות כח, לה The hem of the Kohen Gadol’s robe was adorned with bells, which chimed as he went about his service […]

March 1, 2020 at 12:24 AM 0 comments

The Altar of Anonymity – Parashat Tetzaveh

The Altar of Anonymity – Parashat Tetzaveh

“…You shall make an altar for burning incense…” – Shemot 30:1 וְעָשִׂיתָ מִזְבֵּחַ מִקְטַר קְטֹרֶת – שמות ל, א The Inner Mizbei’ach, the golden altar for incense which stood in the sanctuary of the Mishkan, is described at the conclusion of Parshas Tetzaveh. Its placement here is somewhat peculiar, considering that the construction of the Mishkan and the other utensils […]

February 29, 2020 at 1:14 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 26, 2020 at 1:32 AM 0 comments

It’s Not All about You – Parashat Mishpatim

It’s Not All about You – Parashat Mishpatim

“….And you shall worship Hashem, your G-d… There will be no bereaved or barren woman in your land; I will fill the number of your days…” – Shemot 23:25-26 וַעֲבַדְתֶּם אֵת ה’ אֱלֹקֵיכֶם . . לֹא תִהְי’ מְשַׁכֵּלָה וַעֲקָרָה בְּאַרְצֶךָ אֶת מִסְפַּר יָמֶיךָ אֲמַלֵּא – כג, כה-כו These verses contain profound insight and guidance in the struggles that many people […]

February 17, 2020 at 2:58 AM 0 comments

Are You All Ears? – Parashat Mishpatim

Are You All Ears? – Parashat Mishpatim

“….But if the bondsman says, “I am fond of my master, my wife, and my children. I will not go free”…His master shall pierce his ear with an awl and he shall then serve him forever….” – Shemot 21:5-6 וְאִם אָמֹר יֹאמַר הָעֶבֶד אָהַבְתִּי אֶת אֲדֹנִי אֶת אִשְׁתִּי וְאֶת בָּנָי לֹא אֵצֵא חָפְשִׁי . . וְרָצַע אֲדֹנָיו אֶת אָזְנוֹ בַּמַּרְצֵעַ […]

February 16, 2020 at 2:40 AM 0 comments

Free to Steal – Parashat Mishpatim

Free to Steal – Parashat Mishpatim

“….If you buy a Hebrew slave he shall work for six years; in the seventh he shall go out to freedom without charge…” – Shemot 21:2 כִּי תִקְנֶה עֶבֶד עִבְרִי שֵׁשׁ שָׁנִים יַעֲבֹד וּבַשְּׁבִעִת יֵצֵא לַחָפְשִׁי חִנָּם – שמות כא, ב The portion of Mishpatim, which immediately follows the Torah’s account of the awesome revelation at Sinai, opens with the law […]

February 16, 2020 at 1:20 AM 0 comments

The Women’s Dance – Parashat Beshalach

The Women’s Dance – Parashat Beshalach

“…And Miriam, the prophetess, Aharon’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women came out after her with tambourines and with dancing….- Shemot 15:20 וַתִּקַּח מִרְיָם הַנְּבִיאָה אֲחוֹת אַהֲרֹן אֶת הַתֹּף בְּיָדָהּ וַתֵּצֶאןָ כָל הַנָּשִׁים אַחֲרֶיהָ בְּתֻפִּים וּבִמְחֹלֹת – שמות טו, כ The drowning of the Egyptians in the sea (after Bnei Yisrael had safely passed through) […]

February 2, 2020 at 1:41 AM 0 comments

Localized Humility – Parashat Mikeitz

Localized Humility – Parashat Mikeitz

“….He placed food in the cities, the food of the field surrounding the city he put within it….” – Bereishit 41:48 ״….ויתן אכל בערים אכל שדה העיר אשר סביבותיה נתן בתוכה…״ – בראשית מא, מח In Rashi’s commentary on this verse, he notes that some of the local soil was mixed in with the grain when placing it in storage, […]

December 23, 2019 at 4:03 AM 0 comments

Living the Dream – Parashat Mikeitz

Living the Dream – Parashat Mikeitz

“….At the end of two years, it came to pass that Pharaoh was dreaming…..” – Bereishit 41:1 ״….ויהי מקץ שנתים ימים ופרעה חולם…״ – בראשית מא, א Yaakov’s move to Egypt with his family was brought about by a series of dreams. Yosef’s dreams caused his brothers to hate him and sell him as a slave, and his eventual owners brought […]

December 22, 2019 at 3:49 AM 1 comment

Got Faith, Won’t Travel

Got Faith, Won’t Travel

“…And Yaakov saw that there was grain being sold in Egypt. Yaakov said to his sons, “why should you purport [to be content]?” – Bereishis 42:1 וַיַּרְא יַעֲקֹב כִּי יֶשׁ שֶׁבֶר בְּמִצְרָיִם וַיֹּאמֶר יַעֲקֹב לְבָנָיו לָמָּה תִּתְרָאוּ – בראשית מב, א When hunger came upon the Land of Canaan, Yaakov encouraged his sons to travel to Egypt to buy grain. According […]

December 22, 2019 at 2:50 AM 0 comments

The Jewish Way in Responsible Adulthood

The Jewish Way in Responsible Adulthood

  Shimon and Levi are each referred to in this verse as איש, a man. The Midrash calculates that this story took place barely thirteen years after the birth of Levi, the younger of the two brothers, and yet Levi is called a man, indicating that at the age of thirteen he had the emotional maturity of a grown man. […]

December 12, 2019 at 2:30 AM 0 comments

You Should Really Get Out a Bit

You Should Really Get Out a Bit

Dinah’s socialness was inherited from her mother, explains Rashi. The Torah’s association of these two women who “went out” suggests that their presence in the public arena was considered excessive by the Torah’s standards of modest conduct. Despite the value of a lesson in feminine dignity, this interpretation seems contrary to the Torah’s trademark sensitivity. Would the Torah make a […]

December 10, 2019 at 3:08 AM 0 comments

There’s Nothing Like Home

There’s Nothing Like Home

“…And leah said, “…now my husband will reside with me, for i have borne him six sons,” so she named him zevulun…”  – bereishis 30:20 וַתֹּאמֶר לֵאָה . . הַפַּעַם יִזְבְּלֵנִי אִישִׁי כִּי יָלַדְתִּי לוֹ שִׁשָּׁה בָנִים וַתִּקְרָא אֶת שְׁמוֹ זְבֻלוּן – בראשית ל, כ When our matriarch Leah bore her sixth son, she named him Zevulun, a derivative of […]

December 2, 2019 at 1:03 AM 0 comments

Good Night, Yaakov – Parashat Vayeitzei

Good Night, Yaakov – Parashat Vayeitzei

For fourteen years before this fateful night and twenty years after, Yaakov never lay down to settle in for a good night’s sleep. Now, Yaakov was spending the night at “the place”, precisely the spot where the Beis Hamikdash, Judaism’s holiest site, would some day stand. How could it be that specifically here Yaakov lay down for a relaxing and […]

December 1, 2019 at 1:44 AM 0 comments

The Rest of the Story

The Rest of the Story

“….On the third day, Lavan was informed that Yaakov had fled. He took along his kinsmen and pursued him for the distance of seven day journey….” – Bereishit 31:22-23 ״…ויוגד ללבן ביום השלישי כי ברח יעקב, ויקח את אחיו עמו וירדוף אחריו דרך שבעת ימים….״ – בראשית לא, כב-כג   There is a famous teaching of the Baal Shem Tov […]

November 30, 2019 at 1:59 AM 0 comments