Esther's name, which means “hidden,” reminds us that at the outset she hides her Jewish identity.
Rav Akiva Eiger questions why semicha is considered a mitzvas assei she’hazman gramma. While it is true that it must be performed during the daytime, this is not because the semicha per se cannot be performed by night.
Besides the lack of appreciation and understanding on the part of knesset Yisrael, Sefer Vayikra has been derided and held in contempt by the nations of the world and other religions.
Even if he has committed sins that warrant his rejection from the community, he is never rejected by G-d.
Like Dempsey and Gates, leaders must always be cognizant of the costs involved in their decisions – even when the costs are less than human life
How do the pieces of this puzzle come together to help us understand how the Torah builds together?
Pekudei is the Hebrew word for reckoning. One way of understanding the meaning of a word in the Torah is to analyze the first time it is found.
The Panim Yafos asks: since invariably one of the seven days of miluim must have been Shabbos, how was Moshe able to erect the Mishkan on Shabbos?
When a couple makes the conscious decision to have a baby, they use a system Hashem put into place to bring forth a child. They don’t claim to be knowledgeable enough in anatomy to synthesize the proteins needed for growth.
The Torah says (Exodus, chapter 28) several times v’nasa Aharon, Aharon was commanded to carry the responsibility of bnei Yisrael, represented by his wearing these garments. This was his masa, the koved, the heavy responsibility of being the intermediary between Hashem and the people. It is a difficult task indeed.
Readers who have kept up with this series since its inception will have noted a consistent emphasis on the role women have played in our rich heritage.
The Satan waits for opportunities to undo kedusha, particularly on erev Shabbos, when the potential to bring the Shechina into the world is great.
This exciting and daring video and challenges us to be more God-like in our actions.
The Torah's greatest manifestation of human creativity is the building of the Mishkan, which required human mastery over every creation.
The Torah specifies that the washbasin in the Mishkan was made of copper taken from the mirrors that the women brought as donations. Rashi explains that by telling us where the copper came from the Torah is teaching a significant lesson.
Rabbeinu Bachya points out that of all the materials that were donated to the building of the Mishkan, we do not find the inclusion of meshi (silk).
The difference between the intellectual and emotional approach to performing a mitzvah is most noticeable when analyzing the different approaches to giving charity. A person can readily comprehend and accept the intellectual rationale behind giving charity to the poor.
Granted, Hashem miraculously gave Betzalel unimaginable wisdom, but shouldn’t life-experience count for something?
King Achav reports back to his wife, Queen Izevel, thoroughly dejected. It seems Eliyahu has defeated them and their idolatrous practices. The nation would no longer worship Baal and return once again to serving Hashem. This threatened Achav and Izevel's entire hold on their kingdom.
The Jewish people commit the worst sin possible - worshiping a false god.
Klal Yisrael was living in the desert. They neither worked for a living nor had any use for money. All their needs were taken care of. They ate mon that was delivered to their tents daily. They drank water from the be’er, the rock that followed them in their journeys. Their clothes were washed by the Clouds of Glory, and their shoes never wore out. They didn’t need money and couldn’t use it. How could it become their downfall?
One of the most extraordinary images in the Torah appears in this week's portion. Moshe requests of God: "Show me your glory." God responds that He cannot be seen by any human being. But, God tells Moshe, "Stand in the cleft of the rock” and "you will see My back, but My face must not be seen" (Exodus 33: 17-23). What does this mean?
The Gemara says that Moshe lost his ability to pray and protest when he was ordered to descend. The Gemara uses the parable of the friend of the king to indicate that Moshe realized that Hashem provided him, despite his diminished status, with an opening and an opportunity to pray on their behalf to prevent their annihilation.
There are various requirements as to who can perform the shechitah. Optimally one should know the halachos involved and be a male over 13 years of age. If an individual is unfamiliar with the halachos of shechitah he should not shecht, as many problematic issues that he is unaware of can arise. He is also required to be an observant Jew.
Friday night corresponds to Shabbos Bereishis – therefore we discuss the creation. Shabbos morning corresponds to the Shabbos when we received the Torah, so in Shachris we mention that. And finally, Shabbos afternoon corresponds to the Shabbos of the World to Come, so in Mincha we talk about the Oneness of Hashem, which will be clearly revealed at that time.