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10 Adar 5778 -
? Sunday, February 25, 2018


Redeeming Relevance: Parshat Bo: When the Lights GO OFF

How did the Jews find grace in the eyes of the Egyptians, receiving gifts from their Egyptian neighbors as they left, when they were perceived as the source of all the plagues and destruction?

Redeeming Relevance: Parshat Shemot: When to Bring the Family and What to Share on...

In our day of media over-reporting, we often think that we should know everything about our leaders. Perhaps it is better to know too little than too much. For when it comes to ethics, the Torah spares no one in reporting what falls short of the mark.

Redeeming Relevance: What was so Bad about Ya’akov’s Life?

If Ya’akov’s words to Pharaoh were just an exercise in self-mortification about what was too late to change, there would be little to learn from them. But if, as is more likely, they represented part of a strategy of how to continue improving, there is actually a great deal we can learn from them.

Redeeming Relevance: Vayeshev: Yosef’s Field of Dreams

Yosef’s struggle with his brothers was ideological, whether we are to influence the world by example from the private and safe existence of our tent (the brothers), or whether take more risks by going outside and being heavily involved with the rest of civilization (Yosef)

Redeeming Relevance: Vayetzeh: Why Ya’akov DIDN’T Pray

Ya’akov did not pray for Rachel to conceive because he did not believe in "forcing God’s hand." He asks, “Am I instead of God? God knows best whether to give children or not. All I can do is ask.”

Redeeming Relevance: Chaye Sarah: The Advantage of Disadvantage

Yishmael’s challenge was whether to come back at all. Having been so clearly rejected, why would he want to have anything more to do with his father Avraham?

Finding Just the Right Gift… for God

Rather than keeping it only to herself, Chava showed her love for her husband by sacrificing her own consumption of the fruit, allowing him to eat part of it instead.

The Sukkah and Exile’s Positive Side

Sukkot is a holiday that brings a unique inner peace – a peace that would seem to resemble the messianic era, a universal acceptance of God’s moral and spiritual order; an order that is best advanced by helping the Jewish people serve God and further educate mankind.

Redeeming Relevance: Moshe’s International Grave

It seems important for the Torah’s central prophet to have been someone with whom gentiles could identify. And being buried outside of Israel may well have been part of that

Redeeming Relevance: Parshat Ki Tavo: Moshe’s Speech to Jews Living Today

Moshe saw all the Jews as one whole, it was the ones in front of him who served as the representatives for all those who had lived and would live in the future.

Redeeming Relevance: Parshat Shoftim: Of Witnesses, Keruvim and Clones

The Torah's standard for convicting a criminal is set much higher than many contemporary systems of law, that accept one witness. In practice, that means the Torah prefers to let criminals off, rather than punish the innocent

Redeeming Relevance: Parshat Ekev: Making Gratitude Count

Is the source for saying Birkat HaMazon as obvious as we normally assume?

Redeeming Relevance: Parshat Devarim: The Torah’s Insistence that Uganda be for the Ugandans

As the Jewish nation and the Jewish state become more powerful, we have a greater responsibility to contribute more resources to developing nations. It would be a Kiddush HaShem.

Redeeming Relevance: Parshat Pinchas: The Yehoshua Moshe Did Not Know

Moshe was not able to see that Yehoshua was fit for the job. On some level, this seems strange considering their long-standing relationship.

Redeeming Relevance: Parshat Chukat: Why Didn’t Miriam Cross the Jordan?

The water supply in the wilderness had been dependent on Miriam’s presence. Hence, as soon as she dies, the Jews had no water. In turn, that lack brought about Moshe's disastrous interaction at the boulder.

Redeeming Relevance: Parsht Shelach: When Silence is not Golden

Yehoshua and Calev's mistake was what they could have done earlier: They must have known their colleagues’ negative inclination. The Torah’s silence on whether they tried to change the mind of the other spies speaks to their own silence as well.

Redeeming Relevance: Parshat Naso: The Place of the Displaced, the Replaced and the Misplaced

Three laws seemingly unconnected and out of place: theft from a convert; sotah; and nazir. Why are they here, in Parshat naso?

Redeeming Relevance: Parshat Behar-Bechukotai: The Final Step to Holiness

Behar is primarily about ways to prevent Jews from descending into cycles of poverty; Bechukotai reinforces the laws of Vayikra by spelling out the consequences of following or not following the laws

Redeeming Relevance: Parshat Kedoshim: The Ten Commandments’ New Spin

With the 10 Commandments, G-d is described as the One who took the Jews out of Egypt. In Parshat Kedoshim, He is described simply as being "holy." Both phrases set the tone for the list that follows.

Redeeming Relevance: Parshat Shemini: The Price of Holiness

The Meshech Chochmah states that had Israel not sinned with the golden calf, God would not have punished Aharon’s sons so severely.

Redeeming Relevance: Parshat Shmini: When Intelligence is Not Enough

In commenting on the story of Nadav and Avihu, Aharon’s two sons who died while presenting a fire offering to God, Rashi does something...

Redeeming Relevance: Pesach’s Missing Eighth Day

Appreciate that Pesach is NOT meant to end on the seventh day, but at Shavuot. With that in mind, we need to work harder to accept making the days of sefirat ha-omer into days akin to chol ha-moed

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Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/redeeming-relevance-in-the-bible-francis-nataf/redeeming-relevance-parshat-terumah-pythagoras-and-the-menorah/2018/02/13/

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