August 4, 2018

The Jewish people are presented with a stark choice – prosperity or destruction. In the opening words of the sedra of “Re’eh”, Moses tells the people that they can control their own fate. If they listen to G-d’s commandments the consequence will be a blessing, but if...

July 22, 2018

The sedra of Va-etchanan continues the final speech that Moshe gave to the Jewish people prior

to his death. In this section, he recalls the giving of the Ten Commandments and the Torah at

Mount Sinai, and the uniqueness of the revelation of the divine presence that the...

June 17, 2018

Chukat

This week’s sedra describes some of the events of the fortieth and final year of the Israelites’ journeying through the desert.

These events include the deaths of Miriam and Aharon, and Moses’s error in (according to our principal rabbinic commentator, Rashi) hitt...

June 10, 2018

Rashi explains that there were many ideological strands to Korach’s rebellion against Moses’s leadership. One was a cry of egalitarianism - “All the congregation are entirely holy (Rashi: all heard directly from God at Mount Sinai) and why do you make yourself ruler ov...

May 26, 2018

Words that we sing with gusto as we take the Sefer Torah out of the Ark, and the conluding phrase that accompanies its return, have their source in the Parasha of Beha’alotecha. 

This sedra concludes the first part of the book of Bemidbar which describes the arrangement...

May 22, 2018

We hear it from the Cohanim each Yom Tov (and every week, or even every day, in Israel and in some communities). Many parents say it to their children every Friday night. They even feature in the lyrics of “Fiddler on the Roof”. And these three verses from this week’s...

May 14, 2018

When Adam sinned in the garden of Eden, he was punished with the curse that: “thorns and thistles shall sprout for you…by the sweat of your brow you shall eat bread”.

The Midrash tells us that this verse gives us only part of a conversation that took place between Adam...

May 5, 2018

Article for Behar-Behukotai

Is the Torah Socialist or Capitalist? Since the Torah is more than just a set of laws for private individual, but presents a legal and social code for the running of an entire community then naturally it includes an economic system and we can...

May 2, 2018

Shabbat is mentioned several times in the Torah in relation to many key moments in the life of the Jewish people, including the creation of the world, the Exodus from Egypt, and the building of he Tabernacle.

Rav Shimshon Rafael Hirsch observes that in the parasha of Em...

April 23, 2018

“Be Holy!” is the stark command that introduces the parashah of Kedoshim. But the Torah leaves unanswered the question of how precisely we are to achieve this noble objective.

For some Rabbinic commentators, “holiness” is found in observing the commandments that precede...

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