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Parshat Shavua

News and updates about Parshat Shavua

Devarim: Right versus Might

Israel's first Chief Rabbi's prescient words: There are nations addicted to brute force and aggression and It becomes part of their pshyche.

Devarim: Right versus Might

Devarim: Don’t listen to me – listen to Moshe

The Torah wasn’t given to be kept in Sinai, nor in Brooklyn or Beverly Hills. The Torah isn’t a “religion” like Buddhism or Christianity,

Devarim:  Don’t listen to me – listen to Moshe

Talking Parsha - Devarim: Moshe is doing us a favor??

Who is talking in the book of Devarim - is it Moshe giving his own speech? Or did Hashem command Moshe to give this speech?

Talking Parsha - Devarim: Moshe is doing us a favor??player

Talking Parsha - Massei: Is the murderer running 'to' or 'from'?!

Why does the Torah send an 'accidental' murderer to a city of refuge instead of banning the victim's blood relatives from taking revenge?

Talking Parsha - Massei: Is the murderer running 'to' or 'from'?player

Talking Parsha - Matot: It's ok to not enter THE land?!

When 2.5 tribes ask to remain on the eastern side of the Jordan River, Moshe doesn't get upset that they don't want to enter the Land. Why?

Talking Parsha - Matot: It's ok to not enter THE land?!player

Talking Parsha - Pinchas & 17 Tamuz: What are the korbanos doing here?!

In this Torah portion, we discuss the korbanot passages, which we read every day. Why are these discussed here, instead of in Leviticus?

Talking Parsha - Pinchas: What are the korbanos doing here?!player

Balak: Legal but wrong

Balaam is the perfect example of someone who tries to get away with doing anything not specifically forbidden.

Balak: Legal but wrong

Pinchas: Impetuous upstart or heroic leader?

There are so many times in history that this story has repeated itself, albeit always under different circumstances.

Pinchas: Impetuous upstart or heroic leader?

Chukat: Do we need to use the whip?

A story told by the Lubavitcher Rebbe about a teacher who had a whip hanging from a peg in the classroom..

Chukat: Do we need to use the whip?

Chukat: "Speak to the Rock"

Israel's first Chief Rabbi: The paradigm here shifted from speaking to striking, from receptive listening to coercive force.

Chukat: "Speak to the Rock"

Three leadership styles and three different emphases

38 years passed between last week's Parsha and this one. Not only did the whole nation die, all three of its leaders pass away.:

Three leadership styles and three different emphases

The Parsha and Current Events: Para Aduma

When goyim attack our religious beliefs, the best thing is to say, “because Hashem said so”, and discussion finished.

The Parsha and Current Events: Para Aduma

Talking Parsha - Chukat: Why wasn't Miriam mourned?!

This week we read about the deaths of Aharon and Miriam - but only Aharon is mourned. Why is that? Why does the Torah just move on?

Talking Parsha - Chukat: Why wasn't Miriam mourned?! player

Weekly Torah Study: Chukat

The inexorable march of time is the thread running through the parasha.

Weekly Torah Study: Chukat

The shallow brook we dare not cross

The tethers that hold us back, birthdays and other insights that are part of the larger story of our people.

The shallow brook we dare not cross

Chukat (Israel): Heavenly irrationality

How ironic that the most irrational of all creatures – human beings – criticize Jewish tradition as not being rational or easily explained.

Chukat (Israel): Heavenly irrationality

"And Korach took": What did he take?

See how seven Torah commentators elucidate this one phrase.in different, but non-contradictory ways.

"And Korach took": What did he take?

Shlach: Everything is G-d's business

I wear tzitzit under my shirt and let the fringes hang down at my side. All I need to do is glance at them and I remember exactly who I am.

Shlach: Everything is G-d's business

Korach: Personal ambition and unwarranted hubris

It is quite common in history that dangerous, corrupt, and nefarious political groups always claim the high moral ground for themselves.

Korach: Personal ambition and unwarranted hubris

Talking Parsha - Shlach: Tzitzit - do you see that?

What exactly is tzitzit? How does the tzitzit help us with remembering all the mitzvahs of Hashem? What is tzitzit all about?!

Talking Parsha - Shlach: Tzitzit - do you see that?player

A post-pandemic lesson from Parshat Behaalotecha

Why the Torah praise Aaron for listening to G-d's command? Would we expect anything else?

A post-pandemic lesson from Parshat Behaalotecha

Behaalotcha: Off the Derech

If you can’t get people to stop labeling Jews, then change the label into something positive, including the."off the derech" label.

Behaalotcha: Off the Derech

Moses, the humblest person on earth

What is the real meaning of humility? Is it self-deprecation or something very different?

Moses, the humblest person on earth

Naso: A sin against a person is a sin against God

Sins between you and your fellow man are doubly harmful.

Naso: A sin against a person is a sin against God

Naso - The quite puzzling Chanukat Ha-Mizbeach

Why the last minute request of the tribes' leaders to bring special offerings as soon as the MIshkan was up? Why not plan in advance?

Naso - The quite puzzling Chanukat Ha-Mizbeach

Behaalotcha: Towards Israel

The sequence of breaking camp and travelling is not random or capricious: there are reasons for the Tribes travelling in formation.

Behaalotcha: Towards Israel

Naso: The holiness of the Mishkan

We need to remember that the most consistent dwelling that Hashem has on earth is the camp of Bnei Yisrael, and we must keep it holy.

Naso: The holiness of the Mishkan

Talking Parsha - Naso & Shavuos: Birkat Kohanim - what's it about??

What does blessing the People of Israel have to do with the work of the Holy Temple? Why are the kohanim the ones to bless the people?

Naso & Shavuos: Birkat Kohanim - what's it about??player

Bamidbar: The intrinsic significance of 600,000 Israelites

The Vilna Gaon said as quoted in Kol haTor, “The essence of the ingathering of exiles requires no fewer than six hundred thousand." Why?

Bamidbar: The intrinsic significance of 600,000 Israelites

Bamidbar: When mystery prevails over human understanding

Apparently, the greater the detail, the greater the mystery that it engenders.

Bamidbar: When mystery prevails over human understanding

Bamidbar (The Book of Numbers): It’s the math that counts

The Parsha and Current Events: Words and Numbers,

Bamidbar (The Book of Numbers): It’s the math that counts

Bechukotai: The strength of the butterfly - remembering Rabbi Wallerstein

The natural world is brimming with miracles, but the transmutation of caterpillar into butterfly is in a class of its own.

The strength of the butterfly - in memory of Rabbi Wallerstein

Yes, the Jews secretly control the world

G-d promises us in His Torah that if we keep His mitzvot in His Land, then He will give peace throughout the world.

Bechukotai: Yes, the Jews secretly control the world

Bechukotai: Why Exile?

Israel's first Chief Rabbi and advocate for returning to the Land, on the anguished question: Why should the Jewish people be in exile?

Bechukotai: Why Exile?

Talking Parsha - Bechukotai: Where's the happy ending?!

Why does G-d's reprimand to the Jewish people end with a double 'remembering'? Where is the redemption after all of the punishment?

Talking Parsha - Bechukotai: Where's the happy ending?!player

Bechukotai (Israel): The totality of Jewish life

As important as knowledge of history is – and I consider it to be very important – history alone can ever preserve us.

Bechukotai (Israel): The totality of Jewish life

Emor-Shabbat UK : A journey beyond Shabbat UK

After a Covid-caused lapse of two years, we finally have ShabbatUK! It’s going to be an exceptionally special Shabbat.

Emor-Shabbat UK: A journey beyond Shabbat UK

Behar:God has given us the power to restore Yovel!

We can be G-d’s partners in holiness.G-d has given us, His people, the power to restore a Torah-commandment.Shmitta and soon, Yovel.

Behar:God has given us the power to restore Yovel!

Behar (Israel): Life is never an easy climb

Mount Sinai exemplifies the mountain that Abraham saw.

Behar (Israel): Life is never an easy climb

Emor versus Daber (Diaspora)

The word "emor" is softer than the usual "daber" found in the Torah. Why is "emor" used at the start of the parasha and later on "daber"?

Emor versus Daber (Diaspora)