Start Building!In our parsha, the words used - to build, construct, and to make the Tabernacle - are repeated over 140 times. What is the Al-mighty trying to tell us?
Another State VisitHistory repeats itself, to paraphrase Santayana, if one doesn't learn its lessons. A royal visit to Jerusalem.
Re'eh: What are You Waiting For?The entire Torah was given over to the Jewish people to fulfill in the Land of Israel as soon as they entered the land, with not a moment to waste.
Masei: Obligation to WarThe writer connects the questions of Moses' times with the problems facing Israeli citizens today.
The Gates of HeavenOf the ten levels of holiness descended onto the world, eight of the levels are on the Temple Mount where Jacob prayed.
What's the Big Secret?Why doesn't the Torah just come out and say: "My resting place, which is in Jerusalem"? Why all the suspense?
Achrei Mot: A MIssing IngredientOy. We have exchanged the family gatherings in the courtyards of the Old City, together roasting the Korban Pesach, with its overwhelming and powerful smell enticing all, for that Caribbean cruise.
Trumah: Let's Get It Done!Our Rabbis have taught us that in every generation that the Temple is not built, it is as if the Temple was destroyed in that generation.
Redemption Rocky Road (w/ video)As the Jews were traveling though the now dry sea, some of them began to complain about the mud on their sandals. Are you also looking down instead of up?
<I>Beshalach</I>: The Mud and the Blood and the Beerit was at that grand moment, when the Jewish people were crossing the sea, that some of the Jews began to complain to one another saying: 'Look at this, in Egypt we were stuck in the mud all day making bricks, and here, too, we are stuck in the mud that is in the seabed. We had mud then, and we have mud now!'
Oh, After MidnightIn his hit song, Eric Clapton tells us that after midnight you are going to "let it all hang out." Moshe tells Pharaoh that at ?about midnight,? Hashem will strike down and kill all the firstborn sons of the Egyptians. Now, would it not have been easier for Moshe to tell Pharaoh this would occur at midnight, as opposed to at ?about midnight??
Understand Well, My BrothersThe Jewish people in Egypt were so embedded in Egyptian culture, that when the redemption came, the great majority were unable to release themselves from it and had to be destroyed.
<I>Shemot</I>: Down in Old Egypt Land - Why?It was only when the Jewish people gave up any hope of salvation from mankind, and despaired totally of redemption, that they were able to come to an understanding that there is no other power in this world besides <I>HaShem</I>. For it is <I>HaShem</I> who brings down the mighty and raises up the lowly.
<I>Vayechi</I>: Just Not Here!"Please, if I have found favor in your eyes... do this kindness and truth with me - please do not bury me in Egypt." What was the concern that our forefather Ya'akov had about being buried in Egypt?
<i>Miketz</i>: Oh, Beautiful...One does not have to be a rocket scientist to understand and see the future unfolding before us. The world today is so complex that any little jolt in the wrong direction could literally bring the house down.
<I>Ekev</I>: It's All Written in the BookThere, in the midst of the Jordan, the water - as it disconnected from its source so as to allow the Jews to pass through - began to rise to great heights, towering over the entire Jewish people. It was at that point that Joshua stopped the Jews in their tracks and told them: I have an important message to relay to you all.
Rules of the GameThe Torah tells us: "When you go out to war against your enemy...." And does one ever go out to war against one's friend, such that the Torah needs to tell us that you are going out to war against an enemy?
<I>Balak</I>: Try as They MightAs the Jewish people began their approach to the Holy Land after being in the desert for forty years, the nations began to sense, both consciously and unconsciously, that the Redemption was at hand. And they all pulled together to try and stop the process.
<I>Chukat</I>: The Slave WomanThe Canaanite king of Arad heard that Israel had come by the route of the spies, and he warred against Israel and captured a captive from among them. There is nothing new under the sun.
<I>Korach</I>: LessonsThe rabbis asked: Korach was a wise man and leader. What caused him to rebel against Moshe?
Purim 5766 - And Still Going StrongSome weeks ago, the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, while denying that a Holocaust against the Jews took place during World War II, stated that there was indeed a "holocaust" that took place in Iran some 2,000 years ago, in which the Jews killed thousands of people.
Still Much Work To Do!This week?s parsha should put to rest any arguments for the philosophy of sitting around and waiting for the Redemption of the Jewish people. The Torah commands us to build a sanctuary for Hashem, that He may dwell within.
Parshat Mishpatim: In for the Long HaulAs if this weren't enough for one parsha, the Torah goes on to teach us the laws
of stolen property and prohibition of deceit. From there, it?s on to laws
applying to judges, witnesses, and defendants as well as those of false statements and capital punishment, etc. etc. etc.
Time to climb the MountainAn entirely different environment with our enemies??? What has the acting PM been smoking in his office? I suggest to the honorable actor that he go down to Gaza City by himself and ask Hamas what kind of a "new environment" he would like to see the Jewish people in!
<I>Beshalach</I>: Our Secret WeaponOne of the repeating themes woven throughout the story of the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt is the great <I>mesirut nefesh</I> (self-sacrifice) that certain individuals displayed for the sake of the Jewish people, and their great reward for their selfless acts. Eventually, these acts of self-sacrifice would spread to the entire nation.
<i>Bo</I>: They Never Really Say "Never"This is the cardinal rule brought down to us though our authentic Jewish leaders, Moshe and Aharon: When it comes to <I>Kiddush HaShem</I>, there is no 50, 70 or even 99 percent.
<I>Chayei Sarah</I>: The Cave DealAfter all the years that King David and his court tried to acquire the Mount, when the right time had come, it was, in the blink of an eye, turned over to the children of Israel.
<I>Bereishit</I>: The Song Remains the SameSo, once again, as we start anew our holy Torah, we come upon the famous first Rashi on the Torah. Even if we have spoken about it time and time again in the past, its message is timeless and its words have still not hit home for the Jews.
<I>Ki Teitzeh</I>: My Friend, My EnemyOur rabbis warned us not to take a liking to our enemies, not to make friends out of them, for if you fall into their hands, they will not have mercy on you. The best example of this is brought down in the Book of Kings, the story of Achav, king of Israel.
I Have Seen the Fire"A land that <I>HaShem</I> your G-d seeks out; the eyes of <I>HaShem</I>, your G-d, are always upon it, from the beginning of the year to the year's end." This is what our rabbis teach us: <I>HaShem</I> sees what the land's needs are and He introduces decrees upon it, at times for good and at times for bad.
<i>Devarim</I>: The Final <I>Tikkun</I>Ever wonder why Ariel Sharon's insane plan of Disengagement was planned for the period of the 9th of Av, the day that was decreed to be a day of mourning for generations? Just a coincidence that it's taking place at this time of the year, and was not called for, say, in February or December? I don't think so.
<I>Mas'ei</I>: The Long Road From and to GazaFrom time to time, we have heard voices stating that Gush Katif is not really part of the Land of Israel, never has been, and historically, we have no connection to it. This week's <I>parsha</I> should put an end to all those false accusations, as nothing could be further from the truth. Those claims come only to weaken a strong nation.