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Parsha
Reading Megillat Esther
 

Posted on: March 4th, 2012

JudaismParsha

Being human, we are limited in our ability to understand. Tragic events seem senseless, without a rhyme or reason. World events can seem confusing, with the future uncertain. On Purim, we recognize that God’s Hand is guiding it all. The King is working behind the scenes, pulling the strings. We may not understand all of the twists and turns of the narrative, but we know the Author. All we have to do is put our trust in Him.

So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. -- Ex. 17:10-12
 

Posted on: March 4th, 2012

JudaismParsha

Perhaps you can’t really define a people without also defining its enemies. Certainly many believe that if the Jews could get rid of the idea of peoplehood, then they wouldn’t have enemies.The experience of the 19th century assimilationists and post-Oslo Israel tells us that this strategy doesn’t work in the real world. Even if we refuse to remember Amalek, he remembers us. And if we don’t have the support of self-conscious peoplehood (and its concrete representation, the Jewish state), how can we fight him?

Cohanim praying at the Kotel
 

Posted on: March 1st, 2012

JudaismParsha

While the transgression of the Golden Calf had caused Aharon to feel a sense of distance from HaShem, the miluim was intended to bring him close again through spiritual perfection. The priestly vestments play a central role in this process and great detail is offered in describing them.

Miller-Rabbi-Avigdor
 

Posted on: February 29th, 2012

JudaismParsha

The wardrobe Hashem designed for those who served in his Mishkan served not only to distinguish them but also to impress upon them the importance and significance of the service for which Hashem had selected them. Clothing itself is a form of serving Hashem.

Jewish woman reading Megillat Esther on Purim
 

Posted on: February 29th, 2012

JudaismParsha

The Sefer HaChinuch states in mitzvah 603 that women are exempt from the mitzvah of remembering what Amalek did to us. He explains that this is because it is not upon women to wage war against and avenge the enemy.

 

Posted on: February 29th, 2012

JudaismParsha

There is a deeper message in Parshat Tetzaveh - the principle of the separation of powers, which opposes the concentration of leadership into one person or institution. All human authority needs checks and balances if it is not to become corrupt. In particular, political and religious leadership (keter malchut and keter kehunah) should never be combined. Moses wore the crowns of political and prophetic leadership, Aaron that of priesthood. The division allowed each to be a check on the other.

 

Posted on: February 22nd, 2012

JudaismParsha

It is not what G-d does for us that transforms us, but rather what we do for G-d. A free society is best symbolized by the Tabernacle. It is the home we build together. It is only by becoming builders that we turn from subjects to citizens. We have to earn our freedom by what we give. It cannot be given to us as an unearned gift.

Artists rendering of the Tabernacle
 

Posted on: February 22nd, 2012

JudaismParsha

In this week’s parshah the Torah discusses many of the various aspects of the mishkan. The Torah dictates in detail the manner in which the walls of the mishkan were to be erected. At the instructions’ conclusion, the pasuk says, “Vahakeimosa es hamishkan, k’mishpato asher har’eisa bahar – and you shall erect the mishkan according to its laws, as you will have been shown on the mountain” (Shemos 26:30).

The-Shmuz
 

Posted on: February 22nd, 2012

JudaismParsha

The entire Jewish nation – every man, woman, and child – experienced the revelation of Hashem on Har Sinai. They saw Hashem as clearly as humans can, and they attained a level of prophecy. Now they were being offered one of the greatest gifts imaginable: Hashem Himself was going to dwell among them.

Hertzberg 021712
 

Posted on: February 17th, 2012

JudaismParsha

For most of the nations of the world, the laws governing interactions between people are conventions set up by citizens to enable their society to function. They are bereft of any Divine influence. However, such laws within a Jewish society are very much religious laws as well. To demonstrate this point the Sanhedrin, which was ultimately responsible for all legal aspects of society, was housed in the Temple. By being there it was made clear to all that, for Jewish society, the interpersonal societal laws were Divine in origin, just as the ritual laws were.

Yehduda HaKohen
 

Posted on: February 16th, 2012

JudaismParsha

The Jewish nation has no such concept as “religion” in the formal sense of the term, as we reject the notion of anything lying outside the realm of HaShem. It is Israel’s mission to elevate every sphere of Creation by infusing it with kedusha and bringing it to its highest potential in our world.

Miller-Rabbi-Avigdor
 

Posted on: February 16th, 2012

JudaismParsha

“And men of holiness you shall be to me, and you shall not eat meat in the field of a torn carcass (22:30). The expression “to Me” means “men of holiness that are Mine.” By being holy, they become close to Hashem.

The-Shmuz
 

Posted on: February 15th, 2012

JudaismParsha

In Parshas Mishpatim, the Torah delineates various prohibitions and punishments. With regard to stealing, we see something unusual. If a man steals a cow, he must pay back five times the amount he stole; however, if he stole a sheep, he must pay back four times the amount. Rashi is troubled by the difference in punishments. He explains that the difference lies not in the crime but in the mental state of the thief.

 

Posted on: February 15th, 2012

Judaism

First in Parshat Yitro there were the Asseret Hadibrot (the Ten Utterances, or general principles). Now in Parshat Mishpatim come the details.

1
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Posted on: February 15th, 2012

JudaismParsha

This week’s parshah, Parshas Mishpatim, discusses many various halachos regarding monetary issues. One of the topics is when one damages another person’s property.

 

Posted on: February 10th, 2012

JudaismParsha

The American Jewish Orthodox community has probably been overwhelmed by the events of the past few weeks in Israel regarding the extremely hostile attacks that have been aimed at the haredi community by the secular press and politicians from across the political spectrum.

Miller-Rabbi-Avigdor
 

Posted on: February 10th, 2012

JudaismParsha

We should not be so naive to think Moshe himself could not have thought of the plan of appointing officers. The Elders of the sons of Israel in Egypt were an official and recognized body, not mere old men as are found today in homes for the aged.

The-Shmuz
 

Posted on: February 8th, 2012

JudaismParsha

“And He does kindness to thousands of generations, to those who He loves and those who guard His mitzvos.” – Shemos 20:6 In the Aseres Ha’Dibros we are told Hashem pays back the wicked for four generations and the righteous for two thousand generations. Rashi explains the ratio of two thousand to four comes out […]

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo
 

Posted on: February 8th, 2012

JudaismParsha

The fourth dibrah of the Asseres Hadibros that is read in this week’s parshah says, “Zachor es yom haShabbos lekadsho – remember to sanctify the Shabbos.” The Gemara in Pesachim 106a derives from this pasuk that one must recite Kiddush on Shabbos over a cup of wine.

Miller-Rabbi-Avigdor
 

Posted on: February 2nd, 2012

JudaismParsha

“And Hashem turned back the sea by a strong east-wind all the night” (14:21). The wind was entirely unnecessary, for it was naturally unable to split the sea open and create a pathway, as the verse concludes “And it made the sea into dry land and the waters were split apart.” This was entirely a […]

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