Parshat Ekev – Difficult Mitzvot

When facing our enemies, it's often necessary to don a ruthlessness seemingly at odds with our inner nature. The 'hands of Esav' can sometimes be utilized to achieve the goals of 'Yaakov's voice.'

When To Go To The High Court

First, how could a beis din of 23 judges present a guilty verdict in a capital punishment case? After all, only a majority of the 23 judges ruled in favor of his verdict.

An Unusual Test

The Medrash Rabbah that says that Avraham Avinu asked Hashem to swear to him that He wouldn’t test him or his son, Yitzchak, any further.

Redeeming Relevance: Parshat Noach: Do We Really Understand why Murder is Wrong? 

If so, why was Noah commanded not to murder (and, likely, other old commandments) as well? Apparently, there was something not yet completely intuitive, and that was the sanctity of life.  

The Korach Rebellion

Until Korach's rebellion, no one dared challenge Moshe’s authority.

Emor: The Omer and Peak Potential

Thoughts on Emor, Omer, and becoming a better you!

Can’t Move, But Happier Than Ever Before

In light of the fact that 25 years ago the doctors predicted that I would live only 3-5 years, I am glad to still be alive.


Before summarily dismissing Korach, let's first allow him to speak and examine his claims – perhaps they will allow us to understand whence his self-immolating uprising.

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks: Holy People In The Holy Land

It is simply not the same to put on tefillin or keep kashrut or observe Shabbat in the Diaspora as in Israel. The Torah is the constitution of a holy people in the holy land. Only in Israel is the fulfillment of the commands a society-building exercise, shaping the contours of a culture as a whole. Only in Israel does the calendar track the rhythms of the Jewish year.

TORAH SHORTS: Parshat Pinchas: The Eternal Man

Higher than the question of our duration is the question of our deserving. Immortality will come to such as are fit for it, and he would be a great soul in future must be a great soul now. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Insurance Policy: The Power Of A Good Act

Why didn’t G-d wipe out the army in Egypt? Why was it necessary to have them pursue the Jewish people into the Sea of Reeds?

We Don’t Even Realize What We’re Missing

We are like poor people who do not know they are poor and how rich they could be.

I’m Never Wrong

Even if the Egyptians prided themselves on ingenuity and advancements, they had to know they were most likely wrong when it came to accurately knowing when midnight was.

Redeeming Relevance: How Many of Moshe’s Children are on His Family Tree?

Though they share parents and ancestors, once the two lines diverge, the Torah tells us exclusively about Aharon’s descendants

Was The Flood Noach’s Fault?

Noach is considered responsible for the Flood because he felt no personal responsibility for his generation.

Ya’akov’s Deathbed and How We Say Shema

Much ink has been spilled on what Rambam meant and how he interpreted aggadic stories, and I have nothing of substance to add here. I instead want to point out he also sometimes takes as historical fact stories we might dismiss as homiletical.

Advice From Moshe

It's always possible to ask forgiveness and to forgive, and to begin anew.

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.

The Parsha Experiment – Devarim: Finding Inspiration From Our Past

The message of Moses' speech before the Children of Israel entered the Promised land are still applicable and inspiring to us, today. Join us as we tackle the mystery of Moses' speech.

Shabbos Chol HaMoed Pesach: The Dry Bones Prophecy

Someone who focuses only on the bones of the Torah makes his bones dry and passionless.

Your Middos Are Killing You

A therapist will show the child a picture of a person’s face and then help her identify the emotion that person was most likely feeling.

The Story Of Avraham, Lot, and Mashiach Ben David

Even when they part ways because of the tiffs over grazing land, Avraham promises to always be there for Lot in time of need. He makes good on that promise when he takes on the world “superpowers” and rescues Lot from captivity.

A Diamond With A Flaw

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.

Vayikra, Sacrifice, and Rambam

Korbanot, a Once and Future Aspect of Temple Service

The Age Of Disrespect

Children knew their place, and the idea of a child speaking back to an adult was unheard of.

Shabbos Mevorchim Nissan

The word matzah (mem, tzadik, hei) is an acronym for “mikol tzara hitzilanu (from all my troubles He has saved me)” the merit of achilas matzah, of consuming matzah.

The Korbanos Of Noach

The Rambam writes in Hilchos Melachim 9:1 that Adam HaRishon was commanded in six mitzvos, and Noach was commanded in a seventh. Adam was commanded to not do the following: worship avodah zarah, curse Hashem, kill, gilui arayos, and steal. He was also commanded to set up a court system. In addition to those commands, Noach was commanded not to eat from ever min hachai (a limb detached from a live animal).

The Shallow Brook We Dare Not Cross

It would seem that the problem was not in the stream but in the people. The Children of Israel disparaged the Land of Israel through the negative report of the spies and they had still not rectified this sin.

Lighting Until The Flame Rises On Its Own

Initially, we have the task of simply lighting a fire. To educate, to explain, to pay close attention and to inspire.


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