The Promise of the Land

The laws of Shmittah, the Sabbatical Year, are so unique, and so contrary to nature, that they are used to demonstrate that G-d has true power over His world, and gave us the Torah. Today, observance of the Sabbatical every seven years is a Rabbinic obligation (in the...
Guidance for Life

Guidance for Life

At the beginning of our reading, Kedoshim, Moshe is commanded to "speak to the entire congregation of the Children of Israel" [19:2]. Rashi explains that everyone was summoned to Moshe, to be taught these Commandments together. Why? Because, Rashi says, the majority...

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The Seder of an Eternal People

The Seder of an Eternal People

Everyone knows that this has been a difficult year. But it is specifically after a year like this one that we see that the Haggadah, a text thousands of years old, remains as relevant and empowering as ever. During the Seder, we not only talk about Pharoah and the...

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The Unique Harm of Gossip

The Unique Harm of Gossip

Being human, we've all made mistakes. We've all made bad decisions, even doing things we knew we really shouldn't. Sometimes, of course, such wrongdoing becomes public knowledge, and the embarrassment is extreme. [We even know of cases where people took their own...

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We Will Outlive Them, Too

We Will Outlive Them, Too

In this week's Parsha, we learn the tragic story of Nadav and Avihu, the two sons of Aharon who died after offering a "strange fire" to Hashem. Moshe gives Aharon and his remaining sons special instructions: "do not grow your hair and do not tear your garments, that...

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The Battle Continues

The Battle Continues

The Sabbath prior to the holiday of Purim is called Parshas Zachor, the portion of remembrance. There is a Biblical command to remember what Amalek did, and to blot out the remembrance of Amalek. There is even a prohibition against forgetting. The Torah portion that...

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Just Passing Through

Just Passing Through

This week's reading, Pikudei, closes out the second book of the Torah. As Rashi says, it provides an accounting of the donations or the Tabernacle, of silver and gold and copper, and accounts for all of the holy vessels used in the Divine Service. Then the Torah tells...

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