This week’s parshah, Matot-Masei- provides a powerful lens from the past to train on current events.
Despite the investigator’s sophisticated pressure, Kagan almost never specified family names and addresses demanded of him, and those whose names he did give, apparently could no longer be found.
The visitor does not hand over his basket of First Fruits; he first shares it with the Temple representative. This is not a ceremony of give and take but of sharing.
Having come to the conclusion that nobody was more qualified than Yosef to lead Egypt in anticipation of and during the approaching famine, Pharaoh appointed him prime minister. This appointment made Yosef the second most powerful man in Egypt.
We give slave gifts? If he wants to stay, we pierce his ear?!
In the beginning of this week’s parshah the Torah says that Yosef brought bad reports about his brothers to their father, Yaakov. Rashi explains that in these reports Yosef stated that his brothers would eat eiver min hachai (a limb from a live animal), degrade the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah by referring to them as slaves, and that they were suspect of transgressing with arayos (immoral relations).
The Rebbe refused to accept his mishloach manos until he promised to control his temper.
While we read of tests of Avraham, it is clear that Sarah endured tests of her own. According to Ramban, she failed her test in her treatment of Hagar
The month of Shevat shares its element of air with the months of Sivan and Tishrei. During Sivan, the light of the Torah was revealed to us on Har Sinai.
People love their GPS; just type in the address and it tells you exactly how to get to where you want to go.
According to the Rambam, the k’nas applies to any chametz on Pesach with which one could, in theory, transgress the aveirah – even if no transgression actually occurred.
The story of Zelophehad's daughters demonstrates Torah’s flexibility and ensuring justice.
Jacob's dream revealed to us that there is another dimension: a vertical one, a spiritual, hidden, top-down one, which we do not see.
Each of the unique roles attributed to Moshe share the common theme that they require of and grant higher sanctity to the individual filling the role.
The story of Bilam, the gentile prophet, is most peculiar. It begins when Balak, the king of Moav, recognizes that he is in danger....
Yaakov Avinu received word that his brother Eisav was coming to greet him. He understood fully well that this was not to be a warm family reunion. Eisav came accompanied by a band of four hundred armed men, bent on revenge. The Torah describes Yaakov as “very frightened,” so he prepared for war.
The Omer period is the ultimate completion of the completion, the holiest of the holiest.
Paradoxically, it is when we confront evil we have the opportunity to make the world a better place.
We specifically use our legs to celebrate to demonstrate our new completeness.
Bigness is measured from the chin down, but greatness is measured from the chin up. A person may be the biggest and tallest player in the NBA and still be a mental midget.
The Spartans used their mistakes as lessons for the future. Pinocchio chose to ignore the lessons and continue to do as he pleased. Who are we on Yom Kippur, Spartans or Pinocchio?
Clothes make the human: "Modesty is the conscience of the body." Honore de Balzac
Imagine that the book of your life has already been written – and that you’ve read the chapter headings. How would your life be different? This issue is addressed by J.K. Rowling in the Harry Potter series. Not surprisingly, Rowling was preceded by the Torah
Although there is a strong basis for our propensity to be more stringent on Pesach than we are during the rest of the year, we should not turn that into a blanket attitude in which stringency is always followed, regardless of the other values at stake
By observing a mitzvah, we rise and become united with, and absorbed in, Hashem’s holiness and infinitude.
Our powers of self-justification mean money is as much a danger for us as for a judge. Given two options, we, like Rashi’s judges, will become sure, the claim which benefits us is also the truer claim. Like Rashi’s judges, we need to guard ourselves from slipping away from truth without realizing it.
There is nothing wrong – and actually everything right – about loving God’s world. But to be significant, it must be a love grounded in enhanced awareness and appreciation of God.
Their assumption was predicated on the theory that Hashem operates based on middas hadin.
One must view the settlement of Israel in a positive light. Thinking otherwise is a grievous sin.
There are several answers given to that question and some may or may not apply to answer the question raised regarding a bris performed on Shabbos “illegally.”