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Parsha
Niehaus-020113
 

Posted on: January 31st, 2013

JudaismParsha

The soft strands of music waft through the air as the kallah, dressed in stunning white, is led by her joyful parents to the chuppah. But something is strange here – where is the chosson?

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Posted on: January 31st, 2013

JudaismParsha

At the beginning of this week’s parshah the Torah says that when Yisro, Moshe Rabbeinu’s father-in-law, joined Bnei Yisrael in the desert, one “ish” (man) bowed to the other and kissed him.

The-Shmuz
 

Posted on: January 31st, 2013

JudaismParsha

The Torah tells us that Yisro heard about the wonders Hashem had brought, and he joined the Jewish people. Rashi explains that while Yisro heard about all of the miracles, the two that actually moved him were the splitting of the sea and the war with Amalek. The others were impressive, but these alone actually affected him.

Leff-012513
 

Posted on: January 25th, 2013

JudaismParsha

Have you ever been to a Sefardi shul - or a Sefardi simcha of any kind? There’s something special about the Sefardi personality, something which Ashkenazim don’t quite possess.

The-Shmuz
 

Posted on: January 24th, 2013

JudaismParsha

Egypt, the country that bragged that no slave had ever escaped its land, stood by helplessly as the Chosen Nation triumphantly left. Yet even at this moment, Pharaoh sent spies along to follow them. After three days, his agents reported back that the Jews had veered off course. Pharaoh called out to his people, “Let us reclaim that which is ours,” and he led them in pursuit.

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Posted on: January 24th, 2013

JudaismParsha

In this week’s parshah the Torah informs us that after Bnei Yisrael miraculously crossed the yam suf, they traveled in the desert without water for three days. The Gemara in Baba Kama 82a expounds on this pasuk and explains that the word “water” is a reference to Torah. So the pasuk is actually telling us that Bnei Yisrael went three days without Torah – and they wilted.

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Posted on: January 24th, 2013

JudaismParsha

Reb Dovid Blinder was a noted scholar and pedagogue in Russia in the late 1800s. He was called ‘Blinder’ (blind man) because he never lifted his head to look outside his immediate area. Among his other achievements, he had the distinction of teaching Rav Chaim Brisker in his youth.

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Posted on: January 16th, 2013

JudaismParsha

There is a contradiction in the pesukim as to when makkas bechoros occurred. The pasuk in this week’s parshah says, “vayehi bachatzos halailah, v’Hashem hikah kol bechor b’eretz Mitzrayim… – and at chatzos of the night, Hashem hit every firstborn in the land of Mitzrayim…” (Shemos 12:29). This pasuk states that makkas bechoros occurred by night. The implication from the pasuk in Bamidbar 8:17 is that makkas bechoros occurred by day, for the pasuk says: “b’yom hakosi kol bechor… -- on the day that I hit all of the firstborn…”

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Posted on: January 15th, 2013

JudaismParsha

Based on a Naaleh.com shiur by Rebbetzin Shira Smiles.

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Posted on: January 10th, 2013

JudaismParsha

After each of the makkos, Moshe Rabbeinu had to daven to Hashem to stop the makkah. After the makkah of frogs, the pasuk says “…vayitzak Moshe el Hashem al devar hatzefardi’im asher sam l’pharoh – and Moshe cried out to Hashem regarding the frogs that he inflicted on Pharaoh” (Shemos 8:8). This is the only makkah in which we find that the Torah uses the word “vayitzak [cried out]” in reference to how Moshe davened to Hashem. By the other makkos, the Torah uses the word “vayetar.” The Sifsei Chachamim asks the question that he says was bothering many people. He asks why the Torah changes its wording by the makkah of the frogs to the word “vayitzak.”

The-Shmuz
 

Posted on: January 10th, 2013

JudaismParsha

After months of rebellion, Pharaoh finally admitted he was wrong. The Dos Zakainim explains that the plague of barad moved Pharaoh more than any other. And it was because of one factor.

General George Marshall
 

Posted on: January 4th, 2013

JudaismParsha

General George Marshall became the U.S. Army’s Chief of Staff in 1939. With a keen understanding that the United States would eventually be drawn into the war that had just erupted in Europe, he set out to rebuild and modernize the army. This was no easy task. Besides the normal difficulties inherent in such an undertaking, Marshall had to do it against the wishes of many influential isolationists. Even President Roosevelt was reluctant to upset the country’s isolationists for fear that battling them would undermine his New Deal.

The-Shmuz
 

Posted on: January 4th, 2013

JudaismParsha

Yosef, his brothers, and their entire generation had passed on. A new era was beginning in Mitzrayim, and with it came a new attitude. When the Jews had first entered the land they were received as celebrated guests. After all, they were brothers of the great Yosef who had saved the nation. That sense of appreciation was now gone. No longer were the Jews respected and revered, no longer were they welcome. They had become a thorn in the side of the Mitzrim.

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Posted on: January 3rd, 2013

JudaismParsha

The Gemara in Kiddushin 71a says that when Hashem told Moshe Rabbeinu (in this week’s parshah), “zeh shemi l’olam, v’zeh zichri l’dor dor – this is my name forever, and this is my name for every generation” (Shemos 3:15), he was teaching Moshe two separate names of Hashem. Rashi explains there that this is derived from the fact that the pasuk does not say “zeh shemi v’zichri.” The Gemara says that Hashem told Moshe that He has both a name that is written and a name that is pronounced. Hashem’s written name is spelled “yud, kei, vav, kei” and His pronounced name is spelled alef, daled, vav, nun. (We will refer to this name as Adnus.)

Parsha-Perspectives-logo
 

Posted on: December 27th, 2012

JudaismParsha

During my formative years, one of my rabbeim once told our class that he wished to tell us something very profound, something we may have a hard time believing: “I want you all to know that every student in this room has the capability to become one of the gedolei hador.” I recall that at first that comment encouraged and inspired me. But within a short time, I began to feel very dejected. In fact, I have thought of that comment many times since then and it took me a long time to understand what bothered me about it.

Leff-122812
 

Posted on: December 27th, 2012

JudaismParsha

Parshas VaYechi describes the last days of Yaakov Avinu’s life and it is therefore appropriate that the haftorah is a description of the last days of Dovid HaMelech’s life (the beginning of Sefer Melochim). But is that the only association? The last days of someone’s life? If so, there are other examples of the last days of someone’s life in Navi that could have been chosen. There must be deeper connections between the lives of Yaakov and Dovid.

The-Shmuz
 

Posted on: December 27th, 2012

JudaismParsha

This week’s parshah opens up with the statement “Vayechi Yaakov b’eretz Mitzrayim shevah esreh shanah – “And Yaakov lived in Egypt for seventeen years.” The Bal HaTurim explains that the gematria of vayichi (lived) is seventeen. The Torah is telling us that the life of Yaakov was seventeen years. Up until that point, he had suffered so much that his years couldn’t rightfully be called a life. The sum total of the years that he spent without torment was the seventeen years that he lived in Mitzraim. That was his life.

Parsha-Perspectives-logo
 

Posted on: December 26th, 2012

JudaismParsha

In this week’s parshah Yosef brings his two sons to his father Yaakov to receive blessings before his death. Rashi tells us that when Yaakov was about to bless Yosef’s sons the shechinah left him as a result of some of Yosef’s sons’ evil descendants.

YU-122112
 

Posted on: December 20th, 2012

JudaismParsha

Yosef Hatzaddik is not only the central character at the end of Chumash Bereishis. I believe that Yosef is also the character who best serves as a role model for many in today’s world.

The-Shmuz
 

Posted on: December 19th, 2012

JudaismParsha

For 22 years Yaakov Avinu was in a state of mourning. His beloved son, the one who most closely followed in his ways, the one he envisioned as the leader of the next generation, had been taken from him while still a youth. For all those years Yaakov was inconsolable. Now the brothers came back with the news, “Yosef is still alive!” At first Yaakov could not believe it. The brothers convinced him it was true by showing him the wagons Yosef had sent.

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