As we begin the book of Exodus, the issue of "insubordination " and "refusing orders " amongst Torah-observant IDF soliders dominates our headlines in Israel. But if our Jewish soldiers, who have taken an oath to protect their people and their homeland, are given orders to destroy Jewish homes and expel their occupants, can such orders be moral and legal? Who's on first here? Hashem's Torah, or the Minister of Defense?
Long ago in ancient Egypt, the righteous midwives of Israel, Shifra and Puah, were also faced with illegal and immoral orders: Pharaoh commanded them to kill all the Jewish baby boys. Yitzchak Reuven gives over an amazing and novel Torah insight about these special women, the "mothers of all dissenters, " and explains how the midwives birthed the people of Israel, quite literally, and imbued them with the courage to refuse orders. In turn were rewarded with "houses. " What is the secret of the mysterious "houses " that G-d gave the midwives as a reward? Today we know! Our Torah is a living process, and anyone who lives in our generation can find the answer.
Remember the antics of those adorable three stooges, Moe, Larry and Curly? Well, they're back! This time they take the form of liberal intellectual scholars, and they solve the "problem " of the Temple Mount once and for all with academic sophistry. "Who wants to build the Temple anyway? " they say. "We're much better off allowing the Moslems to pray there in our stead. " Rabbi Richman and Yitzchak Reuven poke their fingers right into the stooges' eyes and clobber them over the head, just like Moe used to do.
Not all Moslems are against the building of the Holy Temple! An Italian sheik who describes himself as a "Zionist Muslim " visits the Temple Institute in Jerusalem.
Plus: As we close the book of Genesis and reflect upon the passing of Joseph and his brothers, our hosts examine the plight of Joseph today... the ravaging and unchecked desecration of his tomb in Shechem (Nablus).
This week from the Temple Institute: Weekly Torah Portion: Shemot, with Rabbi Chaim Richman.
" ...the children of Israel sighed from the labor, and they cried out, and their cry ascended to G-d... " (Exodus 2:23) For so long the children of Israel felt so distant from G-d that they didn't even lift up their voices and cry. But when they did, G-d heard them and delivered them. http://www.youtube.com/watch?
Light to the Nations, with Rabbi Chaim Richman: The Holy Temple: Man-Made or Heaven-Sent, Part IV
What exactly did Rashi, the great commentator, say concerning the building of the third Holy Temple, and how are we to understand his words? When is he referring to the physical Holy Temple, and when is he referring to the spiritual essence of the Holy Temple?
Discuss this topic on the new Torah Spirituality for the Nations forum