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Parshat Shavua

News and updates about Parshat Shavua

Tazria

Echoes of prophecy still inspire the Jewish nation

For while we have fought for and earned the Land of Israel, and the practice of Jewish life has returned to Zion, we cannot say that our Jewish brothers and sisters in Israel are truly free.

Echoes of prophecy still inspire the Jewish nation

Parshat Tazria: The happiest month?

From the month of Nisan, we are taught that it is not just during times of sorrow that we should empathise with others, it is also when they are happy.

Parshat Tazria: The happiest month?

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch on the parsha: Tzaraas isn’t leprosy

The laws of tzaraas are incomprehensible if we adopt the general translation.

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch on the parsha: Tzaraas isn’t leprosy

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

Tazria: A directive toward a life of holiness

God demands we live a life of good deeds towards others and this upholds the world. Therefore, many commandments in the Torah are commandments of interpersonal nature.

Tazria:  A directive toward a life of holiness

Eretz Yisrael in the parasha: Three camps of holiness

Young Religious Zionist Torah scholars connect the Torah Reading with the Land of Israel.

Eretz Yisrael in the parasha: Three camps of holiness

Rav Kook Torah

Shmini: Mourning for Nadav and Avihu

Israel' first Chief Rabbi and iconic leader of Religious Zionism: To understand Moses’ unusual instructions for mourning his nephews, we must examine the Talmudic account of the passing of Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi.

Shmini: Mourning for Nadav and Avihu

The depth of discipline

Aharon's sin with the Golden Calf was not in its creation but in forcing G-d to judge the Jews as willful sinners.

The depth of discipline

Talking Parsha - Shemini: Why can’t they mourn??

Why are Aharon and his sons not allowed to mourn the deaths of Nadav and Avihu? Why is it different than the customary practices of kohanim who must mourn their seven close relatives? And how is this relevant to what our nation has faced for the past six months?

Talking Parsha - Shemini: Why can’t they mourn??

Shmini: What are the two middle words of the Torah?

In pre-computer times, the scribes knew how many words and how many letters there were in the entire Torah.

Shmini: What are the two middle words of the Torah?

Parshat Shmini and Parshat Hachodesh - stages of Redemption

An analysis of the non kosher animals mentioned in the parasha is connected to the four questions - and Redemption. This will be the final exile, after which we will never again be defeated or exiled from our Land.

Parshat Shmini and Parshat Hachodesh - stages of Redemption

Shmini: The eighth day

We are all eighth day Jews. What does that mean?

Shmini: The eighth day

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch on the parsha: ‘Progress’ in Judaism

The Prophetic Books are not more “ethical” than the Pentateuch.

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch on the parsha: ‘Progress’ in Judaism

Tzav:

The sacrifice we CAN offer nowadays

Yaakov did not cease his studies of the 613 Mitzvot, and when one learns about a Mitzvah, credit is given for actually fulfilling that commandment!

The sacrifice we CAN offer nowadays

Talking Parsha - Parashat Tzav: What’s Torah??

While the Torah does introduce new aspects, the repetition prompts us to question the Torah's approach - why does it not consolidate these discussions into a single section?

Talking Parsha - Parashat Tzav: What’s Torah??

Tsav: The challenge of a depleted pocket

The word "tsav" is found only concerning the Korban Tamid. Why?

Tsav: The challenge of a depleted pocket

Tzav: Here is a riddle for you:

What it says on the tin should be what you find within it.

Tzav: Here is a riddle for you:

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch on the parsha: Tethered to the past

Our mission and our ancestors’ mission are one and the same.

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch on the parsha: Tethered to the past

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?

Eretz Yisrael in the parsha: Peace offerings

Young religious Zionist Torah scholars connect the parasha and the Holy Land.

Eretz Yisrael in the parsha: Peace offerings

Talking Parsha - Vayikra & Zachor: Why 'call' Moshe??

How does the small 'aleph' in the first work of Vayikra - a minor nuance - contribute to the deeper meaning? And why is the book named after its first word? Join us as we uncover the connection between Vayikra, Shabbat Zachor, and Purim.

Talking Parsha - Vayikra & Zachor: Why 'call' Moshe??

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch on the parsha: Do you care?

Animosity is often better than indifference.

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch on the parsha: Do you care?

Talking Parsha:

Pekudei: Why "Set up" the Mishkan??

As we conclude the book of Shemot and the construction of the Mishkan, Hashem instructs Moshe to set it up. A notable emphasis is placed on the verb "setting up" (קום) in the Torah.

Pekudei: Why "Set up" the Mishkan??

Shmot: The book of human judgment

The book of Shemot ends on a triumphant note.

Shmot: The book of human judgment

Sanctifying time

In human behavior and thought, time is as important as wealth or location or the accomplishment of any human deeds.

Sanctifying time

Talking Parsha:

Parashat Vayakhel: Why was Bezalel chosen??

Why does Moshe introduce Bezalel by saying, 'Look?' Where was Bezalel summoned, and what meaning does his summoning have for us today?

Parashat Vayakhel: Why was Bezalel chosen??

Ki Tisa: Moses' sapphire quarry

Israel's first Chief Rabbi: Moses, it turns out, was fabulously wealthy. Why is that significant?

Ki Tisa: Moses' sapphire quarry

Talking Parsha - Ki Tisa:

Moshe's mask - what's the story??

In the final passages of the Parsha, Moshe descends from Mount Sinai carrying the new Luchot. However, his return is marked by a striking physical transformation.

Moshe's mask - what's the story??

Rav Samson R. Hirsch on the parsha: Want to be free?

The Torah enables us to rise above the natural order.

Rav Samson R. Hirsch on the parsha: Want to be free?

Talking Parsha - Tetzaveh: Stones of Remembrance??

The stones on the shoulders of the apron, and the stones on the breastplate, both serve as reminders. What significance does this hold? And why the emphasis on remembrance?

Talking Parsha - Tetzaveh: Stones of Remembrance??

Lessons in the Parsha related to Eretz Yisrael

Young Religious Zionist Torah scholars teach the connections between this week's Torah Reading and the Holy Land.

Lessons in the Parsha related to Eretz Yisrael

Rabbi Samson R. Hirsch on the parsha: Hold its feet

The Jewish lamb is happy, joyful, and virile – not meek.

Rabbi Samson R. Hirsch on the parsha: Hold its feet

Parshat Tetzaveh: The unity of the gemstones

iI is the combining of the physical and the spiritual facets that are necessary for true redemption and we see it in the IDF soldiers today.

Parshat Tetzaveh: The unity of the gemstones

Why are the details so important?

The Mishkan’s construction is described at length, down to the finest detail. What, in fact, is the importance of these small details?

Why are the details so important?

Terumah: The Iron Wall

Israel's first Chief Rabbi: Walls of iron are different from walls of stone, and each suits a different period of Jewish history.

Terumah: The Iron Wall

Talking Parsha

Truma: What's this vessel about??

This week, we embark on constructing the Mishkan as Hashem instructs Moshe on crafting its various vessels. Amidst the holiest sanctuaries, besides the Ark and Kruvim, we encounter a lesser-known vessel: the Kaporet.

Truma: What's this vessel about??

Eretz Yisrael in the parsha

Young religious Zionist Torah scholars find connections to the Land of Israel in the Torah reading.

Eretz Yisrael in the parsha

Weekly Torah Study: Terumah

Where is the Ark of the Covenant?

Weekly Torah Study: Terumah

Consider the implications of your words

The State of Israel will never come to the point of Shimshon, because when push comes to shove, we will use all the weapons at our disposal to kill our enemies.

Consider the implications of your words

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!

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch on the parsha: 6 and 1

The menorah teaches us how to live our lives.

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch on the parsha: 6 and 1

Eretz Yisrael in the parsha; Learn the Kuzari Series

Young religious Zionist Torah scholars teach the connection between the weekly Torah reading and the Land of Israel. New series: Rabbi Yehuda Halevy's Book of the Kuzari.

Eretz Yisrael in the parsha; Learn the Kuzari Series

Talking Parsha

Mishpatim: Who's the angel of Yisrael?

After the Torah is given, G-d mentions sending an angel to lead the Jewish People. But after the Golden Calf, the same offer is made, and the Jewish People respond with an outcry. Why does the mention of an angel evoke varied responses? What is this 'malach' about?

Mishpatim: Who's the angel of Yisrael?

The blueprint for a just society

The goal is not to sit at Har Sinai, eat Mannah and bask in the light of Hashem but rather to create a real, down to earth just society.

The blueprint for a just society

Mishpatim: Time for Torah

When I study the Torah and come to “know” G-d’s thinking as well as Adam knew Eve, G-d is present in my mind.

Mishpatim: Time for Torah

Rabbi Hirsch on the parsha: Did rabbis make it up?

An unusual law in Parshas Mishpatim makes the case for the divine authorship of the Torah.

Rabbi Hirsch on the parsha: Did rabbis make it up?

Anti-Truth: Hamas’ latest weapon - in the parsha

Our enemies anti-truth forces us into defensive mode, explaining how we couldn't have perpetrated the atrocities of which they accuse us and distracts us from calling them to account for their own behavior. It doesn't have to be that way. Op-ed.

Anti-Truth: Hamas’ latest weapon - in the parsha

Rabbi Hirsch: Cardiac Jews, Orthopraxic Jews

Neither the heart nor the deed is sufficient. G-d wants both.

Rabbi Hirsch: Cardiac Jews, Orthopraxic Jews

Eretz Yisrael in the Parsha: Song of the Sea

Why did the Israelites connect the Red Sea with the Temple?

Eretz Yisrael in the Parsha: Song of the Sea

Reliving Parshat Bo in Gaza

Only in Israel, where we have a holisitc identity as a people, do mitzvot take on their full meaning, as we build a society committed to the ideals of Judaism. In Gaza: Pidyon haben by means of tefillin.

Reliving Parshat Bo in Gaza

Eretz Yisrael in the Parsha: As if given you today

Religious Zionist Torah scholars find connections to Eretz Yisrael in the Torah reading for Shabbat.

Eretz Yisrael in the Parsha: As if given you today

Talking Parsha - Bo:

Darkness - what's so scary??

As the plagues intensify in Egypt, the plague of darkness stands out as a unique phenomenon. Unlike the fiery hail or the me

Darkness - what's so scary??

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch on the parsha: Speak up!

Tell your children what you believe and why.

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch on the parsha: Speak up!

Talking Parsha - Va'era:

Why did the magicians imitate Moshe?!

If the intention of Pharaoh's magicians is to demonstrate parity with Moshe, why don't they counteract his miracles instead of duplicating them?

Why did the magicians imitate Moshe?!

The staff of peace, the staff of justice

After defeating our enemies, after bringing peace – then comes the time for justice.

The staff of peace, the staff of justice

Vaera: Distance strengthens our bond

A name that we may not write or utter is a name that is beyond human conjecture. To receive a blessing from this name is to receive truly unlimited blessing.

Vaera: Distance strengthens our bond

Rabbi Hirsch on the parsha: Moshe wasn’t G-d

The Torah wanted to make sure we didn’t get carried away.

Rabbi Hirsch on the parsha: Moshe wasn’t G-d

Going to peace

Israel's first Chief Rabbi: 'Proceed towards your destination, but do not expect that the path itself will be peaceful and easy.'

Going to peace

Shemot: How we survived

We found meaning; that is how we survived.

Shemot: How we survived

Shemot: Aaron's reward for 'rejoicing in his heart'

Breishit is filled with fraternal strife,until nearly its end, but Shemot has the exemplary brotherly relationsip of Aaron and Moshe.

Shemot: Aaron's reward for 'rejoicing in his heart'