Understanding why these Ten Statements were chosen-as opposed to others omitted-could well lead us to a greater grasp of the essence of this venerable text.
And so Moshe’s ultimate message here, according to Netziv, may be that even if the curses are fulfilled, that is no reason to abandon God.
Many of us simply don’t get the need for the Torah to list the exact same gift offering, 12 times!
Obviously, sin and happy are not words that go together well. But, says Rabbi Yochanan, when people admit to and atone for their sins, that is cause for happiness.
One doesn’t die from a question
Many of the commentators find a disturbingly strong rationale in the Jews’ complaint mentioned above. The complainers were essentially blaming Moshe for setting up a murderous trap for the two hundred and fifty men that contested the choice of Aharon and his sons as priests.
The Torah itself presents parallel narratives of the same stories, thereby showing that the same events can truthfully be constructed in more than one way.
The successful student listens more than speaks out; wants his ideas critiqued, not just appreciated
Isn't it surprising that Avraham who prayed for Sodom's salvation did not protest God commanding him to kill his own son? For the Netziv, this was actually exactly what God wanted from Avraham. Why?
When we cannot fully understand God’s decision that accepting it shows our true allegiance to Him
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
Whether in its variation or in its norms, the world around us provides countless ways to see God. But that will only happen to someone who is looking for them. In other words if we really want to see God, we must also seek God.
Ever wondered why the least funny Jew in the entire Torah should be named Yitchak, “He Laughed?”
The actual tale of Rivkah and Esav is of a mother who continued to care and love a delinquent child who became a problematic adult, proving she will always be his mother and he will always be her son.
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
Moshe complained to God that even though he would have the best human understanding of the Divine will, he had difficulty bringing it down to regular people. That role-"turgaman/navi"-Aharon filled
The delicate balance of the Jews place in the world: The impact of interacting with other cultures
Given Reuven's less-than-altruistic motivations, the Torah could have given us a much more negative spin on what occurred. But it doesn’t. That is because the bottom line is that Reuven did the right thing. And that is what the Torah cares about the most.
Though they share parents and ancestors, once the two lines diverge, the Torah tells us exclusively about Aharon’s descendants
The art--and history--of Jewish communication.
I am convinced that meeting Yitzchak was a much more intense experience than meeting Avraham.
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
Irritation leading to growth...
Some people get angry at the Jewish calendar. It takes away their ability to decide when they want to rejoice, when they want to...
An obstacle to understanding Devarim is thinking of it as a book. Devarim literally means “[spoken] words” and should therefore be primarily considered in its 'orality'
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
Bil’am’s character is complex and nuanced; neither purely good nor purely evil.
For an interpretation to qualify as a good drash, it must present an insightful idea that is somehow enhanced by the original text.
The Torah is telling us something here: Though we may sometimes act too rashly, there are times when rash action is the only way to prevent a complete catastrophe.