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.
Why does Torah make the priests go through a long and seemingly bizarre induction ceremony?
It seems from the Vilna Gaon and the Ra’avan that shomei’a k’oneh would not work for reciting the parshah of bikurim. But why not?
In Parshat Vayigash, we witness Judah's epic monologue to Joseph change the course of history --
Say thank you for all that you have, for the tremendous abundance in your life that cannot be taken for granted in any way.
Abraham is a model of the Individual, of the non-conformist, of the person who will take a stand for what is right though it is unpopular. Indeed, Abraham carved his own path.
In one of the most mysterious verses in the Torah (Bereshit 35:8), we read about the death of Devorah the nursemaid, a character so minor that we have never really heard of her before
Rav Hirsch claims had Isaac and Rebecca developed a unique curriculum that took into account Esau's love of nature, strength, skills and courage, it may have directed him to become a mighty man of God
Terumah thanks kohanim for their service and supports them (more so than bikkurim, which were a smaller percentage of the crop). It makes sense to allow each Jew to choose recipients, to thank him or them for all they’ve done.
The Dos Zakainim explains that the reason every korban must be brought with salt is to remind us that just as salt is a preservative that allows food to last longer, so too the sacrifices are permanently ours to cleanse us from our sins.
"Hamas" means "violent," via undue human pressure on a process not meant to be controlled by humans
When Noach gets off the ark, there seems to be a whole new world order that surrounds him.
How can we be certain that any animal can be counted toward ma’asar beheimah when perhaps it is a treifah?
Must there be a reason for everything?
Judges, essentially apolitical, fulfilled a temporary purpose and then returned to private life
Both of this week’s parshiyos discuss the various arayos – forbidden relationships. The Gemara in Kiddushin 67b states that if one attempts to perform kiddushin on one of the arayos, the kiddushin is invalid.
A picture is worth a thousand words...
The Torah presents us with a model of how to effect change in a sustainable way.
The essence of Torah is to guide us in mastering a life of back and forth, inside and out, up and down; a life riding on the hinges for those seeking to find their voice, courage and inner greatness.
In the eighth year of Achashveirosh’s rule, on the thirteenth of Adar, every Jewish man, woman and child was to be slaughtered. Young or old, wealthy or poor, they were counted as one, and on that fateful day the Jewish people would cease to be. According to the ways of the world, and according to the natural course of events, that is what should have happened.
Genesis is not a hymn to the virtue of families. It is a candid, honest, fully worked-through account of what it is to confront some of the main problems within families, even the best.
Only in Israel do we have the sovereignty & independence to become a light to the nations.
Besides being the final arbiter of difficult legal cases and the licensing agency for Kohanim, the Sanhedrin was also responsible for the maintenance of the religious well-being of Bnei Yisrael.
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
So we see that both in the Mishkan, and in the creation of the world, Hashem held back. That is what we do on Shabbos. We hold back our desire to be creative and restrict our activities.
The notion that we have wings and can fly, but fall to access them is genuinely spot-on.
I take pride in being a disciple of the Rebbe. I love everything about Chabad Lubavitch and the wellsprings of chassidus.
While the transgression of the Golden Calf had caused Aharon to feel a sense of distance from HaShem, the miluim was intended to bring him close again through spiritual perfection. The priestly vestments play a central role in this process and great detail is offered in describing them.
There is a machlokes between the Mechaber and the Rema concerning the berachos recited on the Yom Kippur haftarah by Minchah. The Mechaber says (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 622:2) that we take the Torah out and read the parshah of arayos and then read Maftir Yonah. He says that we recite the berachos of the haftarah before and after the haftarah. If Yom Kippur falls out on Shabbos, we mention Shabbos in the berachos. The Rema argues that we do not recite the berachah of “al haTorah v’al ha’avodah” by Minchah.
While this is a beautiful illustration of the giving nature of a tzaddik, there is as subtle message here: the man stole a spoon from the Chofetz Chaim. How was that possible?