Self Preservation

In this week's Torah reading, the double portion of Tazria-Metzorah, most of our attention is directed to the phenomenon of Tzara'as, a spiritual blemish. People erroneously compare it to leprosy... but clothing and buildings don't become leprous. The Talmud (Ehrchin...

Always New

For seven days and nights, Aharon and his sons sat at the entrance to the Tabernacle, as they were commanded to do. Then the eighth day arrived, the first day of Nissan, a year after leaving Egypt, and it was time to bring the first offerings to G-d. Aharon first...

It’s OK That We Don’t Know

In this week’s reading, Rashi, Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, says something truly profound. He says: “I don’t know.” He says this in other places, for example about certain species that were unknown to him. But I don’t remember him saying this in a case similar to this one.

You’re Not All That

This week's reading, Vayikra, beginning the Book of Leviticus, teaches several lessons which all follow a single theme. The reading discusses sacrifices, including those for inadvertent sins. But not just for the "common folk," for you and me, but rather for the High...

Doing it Right

Dedicated in honor of the wedding of Zvi Menken to Devorah Krycer on March 11, 24 Adar. “Like all that G-d Commanded Moshe, so the Children of Israel did all of the work. And Moshe saw all the labor, and behold, they had done it; in accordance with what G-d had...

Mission of the Mundane

This week's reading, Mishpatim, judgments, is aptly named. Yes, the Hebrew name of a parsha, a reading, is simply its first uncommon word, but there are no coincidences, right? Mishpatim is filled with exactly what the name implies: judgments, interpersonal laws. We...

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Read the Writing on the Wall

In this week's reading, G-d tells Moshe and Aharon to show Pharoah the miraculous signs that prove Moshe is speaking on G-d's Command, and Pharoah must indeed let the Jews go free to worship. G-d predicts that Pharoah will test them in this way: "when Pharaoh speaks...

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Egyptian Amnesia

As we concluded Sefer Bereishis, the Book of Genesis, last week, the nascent Jewish People found themselves in very good circumstances. Yosef was second only to Pharoah himself, having saved the entire country from famine. There was no reason to expect what actually...

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The Misunderstood Maccabees and Miketz Miracles

There is a lot of misinformation about the Chanukah holiday. People teach that the Greeks took over Israel, the Jews fought back, the Jews won the battle, and then there was the miracle of the oil -- enough oil to explain the Menorah, Latkes, and Sufganiyot (Israeli...

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War & Peace… Together

Our reading begins with Yaakov returning to the land of Cana'an, re-encountering his brother Esav after several decades of separation. This was, however, no ordinary family reunion. After Yaakov received his father's blessing intended for Esav, Esav decided to kill...

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Preparation… for More than a Lifetime

At first glance, one could attempt to compare the encounter between Yaakov and Rachel to a scene from a novel. The Torah previously described in detail how Avraham's servant Eliezer journeyed to find a wife for Yitzchok, and brought her to him, sight unseen, to be his...

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