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: Vayikra Avoidance Syndrome and the Torah on One Foot

Because sefer Vayikra is more difficult, we tend to look at it less. But because we look at it less, we also understand it less, which – in turn – keeps it difficult and less appealing. In a nutshell, that is what I call Vayikra Avoidance Syndrome.

Redeeming Relevance in Parshat Tzav

Rambam warns that a festival meal without taking care of the needy isn't fulfilling simchat yom tov

The Fathers-in-Law: Lavan and Yitro

Of all the many fathers-in-law in the Bible, only Yitro & Lavan are singled out for this designation

Redeeming Relevance on the Weekly Parsha: Kedoshim

Putting parents before oneself is a step toward putting the more abstract concept of God before self

Redeeming Relevance: Parshat Vayigash: Too Much for Me, Too Much for You

Yakov realized there was a Divine plan all along; God did not inflict suffering on him for no reason

Redeeming Relevance in the Weekly Parsha: Chayei Sarah

Avraham was asked to nullify his identity, by fulfilling the opposite of what he believed right.

Redeeming Relevance: Parshat Emor: The Challenge of the Rearguard Mother

Long before the Danites’ penchant for connection with gentiles would reach its climax in the days of Shimshon, the Torah warns them of its great dangers

Redeeming Relevance in the Weekly Parsha: Vayishev

Yehudah, more suited to the role, became leader and not Yosef- the very public candidate for the job

Redeeming Relevance: Serious Laughter

Ever wondered why the least funny Jew in the entire Torah should be named Yitchak, “He Laughed?”

Redeeming Relevance: Parshat Yitro: The Good Midianite

Yitro may well be the prototype of the righteous gentile, maintaining a distinct non-Jewish identity

Redeeming Relevance: Parsha Bemidbar: Follow Which Leader?

The Torah recognizes the phenomenon of leadership and brings it to our attention subtly in the Book of Bemidbar, through the way it lists the names of the different tribes.

Redeeming Relevance: Parshat Lech Lecha: Avoiding Too Much Virtue

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

Redeeming Relevance in the Weekly Parsha: Pinchas

5 sisters, with no brothers, questioned an assumed law concerning land inheritance in Israel-and won

Redeeming Relevance: The Art of Seeing God When We Don’t

The retelling of the exodus at Pesach is meant to deepen our faith; and the excerpt from the Mishnah towards the beginning of the Haggadah presents a model for how to do that. It teaches us to follow the example of R. Elazar

Redeeming Relevance in the Weekly Parsha: Vayetzeh

Yitzhak called you Esav and you answered him, then he called you Yaakov and you also answered him!”

Redeeming Relevance: Parshat Mishpatim: Can an Angel Be Wrong?

Towards the end of this week’s parsha, God speaks about a malach that he will send in front of the Jewish people but it is not clear what He is referring to. We will consider one understanding

Redeeming Relevance: Parshat Vayikra: Ownership, Chametz and the Sacrificial Conundrum

There is likely some connection between the prohibition of chametz on the altar and the chametz which is more likely on our minds as we rid our homes of this most challenging foodstuff.

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 Ki Tetzhe: Yehoshua the Conqueror

Battling Amalek presents an important warning to any Jewish military leader that there is a need to maintain a basic respect for what it means to be human, even when dealing with mortal enemies.

Redeeming Relevance: Parshat Re’eh

God's greatest gift for growth & coming closer to Him is "feedback;" Eretz Israel is set up that way

Redeeming Relevance: Parshat Naso: Holy Negativity is Still Negativity

Enjoyment of God’s world always comes with some innate meaning – something which is lacking in the case of abstinence, the case of the Nazir.

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...

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