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Using Non-Kosher Items For The Mishkan

21 Adar I 5774 – February 20, 2014
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).

Matters Of The Heart And Mind

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.

Parshas Ki Sisa: The Beauty Of Mesorah

15 Adar I 5774 – February 14, 2014
Granted, Hashem miraculously gave Betzalel unimaginable wisdom, but shouldn’t life-experience count for something?

Jezebel

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.

Ki Tisa: Moshe’s Benevolent Chutzpah

The Jewish people commit the worst sin possible - worshiping a false god.

For The Love Of Money

14 Adar I 5774 – February 13, 2014
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?

On Seeing God’s Back

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?

Moshe 2.0

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.

Who Can Shecht?

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.

Shabbos: A Day With Hashem: Three Zones

8 Adar I 5774 – February 7, 2014
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.

Present, Yet Anonymous

One of the most striking features of this week’s parsha is the absence of Moshe Rabbeinu's name, an omission which occurs only once from the beginning of Sefer Shemos until Moshe’s death at the end of Sefer Devraim.

Tetzaveh: Where Is God in a Physical World?

How can God be both outside of space and time, and in our physical world?

A Diamond With A Flaw

7 Adar I 5774 – February 6, 2014
One of the signs a diamond is real is that it has a flaw. While it may be a very minor imperfection and almost unnoticeable, all genuine diamonds have flaws.

Can A Non-Kohen Light The Menorah?

When the Rambam wished to give an example of how a non-kohen could light the menorah, why did he have to say that a kohen took the menorah outside of the Kodesh?

The Whole Is Greater Than The Sum Of The Parts

The Gemara mentions that the grape clusters refer to Moshe and Aharon, the paradigm of what a Jew can be.

Arbiter of Checks and Balances

Even the judiciary has its limits, based on the principles set forth at Sinai by the Almighty.

Parshas Terumah: The Value Of Effort

1 Adar I 5774 – January 31, 2014
Winston Churchill repeated a grade during elementary school. He twice failed the exam to the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. He later wrote, “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to the convictions of honor and good sense. Never, Never, Never, Never give up!”

Hashem’s House As An Address For Prayer

30 Shevat 5774 – January 30, 2014
The notion of a Temple, as either a temporary dwelling or as a permanent building at a specific site, is inherently difficult to understand. How can Hashem, the paradigm of perfect sanctity, coexist with our mundane, flawed universe? Infinity with the finite?

Book Money

Nachum was doing a research project on the Rambam for one of his courses. He borrowed a number of sefarim from his yeshiva's library for a month while writing the paper. When he completed the assignment, he gathered the sefarim together to return them to the library, but noticed that one sefer was missing.

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