Danny Ginsbourg

News by Danny Ginsbourg

Parshat Tazria: The supernatural affliction

Are speakers of lashon ha’ra not found amongst the nations? Why then don’t we find that they are afflicted by tzaraat?

Parshat Tazria: The supernatural affliction

What is: 'The thing that Hashem has commanded?'

Shmini describes the wondrous events of that first day of Nissan, the eighth day of the investiture of the Mishkan.

What is: 'The thing that Hashem has commanded?'

What did Hashem say to Moshe from the Ohel Moed?

Our Sages expound the word ‘Saying’ in the first pasuk in several ways, feeling that it is superfluous, as immediately after it - in the second pasuk - the Torah again says:’Speak to Bnei Israel, and say to them.’

What did Hashem say to Moshe from the Ohel Moed?

Moshe could not enter the Tent of Assemby

At the end of the Book of Shmot, Moshe cannot enter the Tent of Assembly and the shechina has not yet spoken with him!

Moshe could not enter the Tent of Assemby

Vayakhel: The assembly of atonement

The whole of Hashem’s wish in the offerings of the Mishkan was as an atonement for the sin of the calf, to thereby again cleave to Hashem. Careful reading shows that.

Vayakhel: The assembly of atonement

What was the Sin of the Golden Calf?

if all this was the work of the non-Jewish erev rav, why were Bnei Israel so severely punished?

What was the Sin of the Golden Calf?

And you [Moshe], command the children of Israel...

Moshe’s name is not mentioned in our Parasha.

And you [Moshe], command the children of Israel...

Take for Me an offering and you take Me, too!

Commentaries expound on the meaning of the verse "take for me" instead of "give to me" in this week's parasha on the building of the Tabnernacle.

Take for Me an offering and you take Me, too!

Mishpatim: The intriguing issue of the Hebrew slave

What did the Torah see, to start its words on the ordinances, specifically on the subject of ‘the Jewish slave? What the commentaries have to say.

Mishpatim: The intriguing issue of the Hebrew slave

Yitro: A mussar lesson from the stones of the altar

‘We can learn from this about man, that even if he is engaged in a Mitzvah or worthwhile matter, how careful he must be not to act disrespectfully towards others.’

Yitro:  A mussar lesson from the stones of the altar

Why does the firsst mitzva sanctify the moon?

The underlying message of our reckoning by the moon, is that the moon is at times in absolute darkness, without even a sliver of light, yet even at this time, we know that it will soon return.

Why does the firsst mitzva sanctify the moon?

Vaera: Moses introduces the logical concept "kal vachomer"

The unspoken answer of Hashem, to Moshe’s query, as to why the affliction increased after Moshe’s first approach to Pharoah, leads to a kal vachoerm.

Vaera: Moses introduces the logical concept "kal vachomer"

May G-d make you like Ephraim and like Menashe

Which brother comes first and what is the deep message hidden in the order of their names?

May G-d make you like Ephraim and like Menashe

Why did G-d act with chessed towards Egypt?

Why did G-d warn Pharaoh of the famine to come?

Why did G-d act with chessed towards Egypt?

No rest for the righteous in this world

The pasuk says וישב יעקב: ‘and Yaakov dwelt’, it clearly has the second meaning

No rest for the righteous in this world

Jacob's ladder is Jacob himself!

It is the will of Hashem, that a Jew be engaged in this physical world, and, in it, find a way to remain sanctified to Hashem.

Jacob's ladder is Jacob himself!

Toldot: Hashem accepted Isaac's prayer, not Rivkah's

This thorny question as seen in the eyes of various commenttators.

Toldot: Hashem accepted Isaac's prayer, not Rivkah's

'She is fit to enter the house of Abraham'

Even the most charitable of men, would not see a need to help those who are well able to attend to their own needs. Not so Rivkah.

'She is fit to enter the house of Abraham'

'You shall give loving kindness to Abraham'

We are commanded to go in His ways, and our role is to do an act of chessed each and every day, as this is why we descended to this world.

'You shall give loving kindness to Abraham'

Avraham descended to Egypt - why?

Why would a famine make Abraham leave the land G-d had told him to go to?

Avraham descended to Egypt - why?

The lesson of the fourth day of Creation

The moon decided that Creation should be otherwise and was duly punished.

The lesson of the fourth day of Creation

The simcha of Zebulun and of Issachar.

The wonderful Torah supporting partnership of Zebulun and Asher is explored y various Torah Sages as we prepare for Simchat Torah.

The simcha of Zebulun and of Issachar.

Why is this holiday called "Sukkot"?

And why did the Tur say that Sukkot is for Yaakov Avinu?

Why is this holiday called "Sukkot"?

The great chessed of Divine Judgment

In this world, a judge cannot truly do ‘true justice’, so that it does not punish innocent people, those who may be affected by it.

The great chessed of Divine Judgment

'One thing I ask of Hashem' - the one thing He asks of us

What could Hashem need of us?

'One thing I ask of Hashem' -  the one thing He asks of us

Nitzavim: You shall choose life

As we read our Parasha approaching the Day of Judgement, it guides us as to the ‘life’ for which we should fervently plead, on that Day.

Nitzavim: You shall choose life

Ki Tavo: A tale of two declarations

Two haggadot, two promises. Commentators weigh in on the differences and similarities.

Ki Tavo: A tale of two declarations

'Go out to war against your enemy then Hashem will deliver him into your hand'

Commentaries weigh in on how waging war against enemies is what is ‘upright in the eyes of Hashem’.

'Go out to war against your enemy then Hashem will deliver him into your hand'

Re'eh: You are children to Hashem, your G-d

The principle of principles - what do the commentaries say about this and how it affects every Jew?

Re'eh: You are children to Hashem, your G-d

What Moses learned from the Patriarch Jacob

Moshe rebuked them only a short while before his death. From whom did he learn this? From Yaakov. Why did Yaakov wait to rebuke his sons?

What Moses learned from the Patriarch Jacob

Matot-Maasei: Our mouths are sacred vessels

Various commentators weigh in on the power of speech.

Matot-Maasei: Our mouths are sacred vessels

Zealotry - for Hashem

Zealotry, like every other aspect of a Jew's life, has halakhic boundaries and limitations..

Zealotry - for Hashem

Balak: Learning mussar from a donkey

Are the donkey's words important enough to take up room in the Torah? Why?

Balak: Learning mussar from a donkey

It's not the snake that kills - but sin (Chukat-Israel)

Why did Hashem command Moshe to make the lifeless serpent, and to raise it on a pole?

It's not the snake that kills - but sin (Chukat-Israel)

The wondrous test - who was being tested? (Korach)

How could Moses be sure his threat would work?

The wondrous test  - who was being tested? (Korach)

Complete repentance? Not when it is a transgression in itself

The Israelites did not comprehend what their real sin was, so their repentance did not atone for it - quite the contrary.

Complete repentance? Not when it is a transgression in itself

The gift from Esau and Ishmael: Naaseh veNishma

Ramban:’Had not Israel accepted the Torah, the world would have returned to nothingness, BY ITSELF...’.

The gift from Esau and Ishmael: Naaseh veNishma

Count by the number of the names

Each name is a thread in the tapestry that is Am Israel - but why not do the same in parashat Pinchas, a later census?

Count by the number of the names

Torah Portion:

The most difficult mitzva of all

Shmitta is the most difficult mitzva.What special relevance does the Mitzvah of Shemitah have to Har Sinai?.

The most difficult mitzva of all

‘Kedoshim: Reprove your fellow’- but first: reprove yourself!

Rabbi Tarfon said:'I would be amazed, if there is any person in this generation who will accept rebuke;' And what would we say?

‘Kedoshim: Reprove your fellow’- but first: reprove yourself!