Erasable Permanent Markers

Yom Kippur is tomorrow night. What happens on this, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar? "Kippur" is often translated as atonement -- to make reparation for bad deeds, and restore a relationship damaged by those offenses. That is a good description -- but why is...

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...

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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...

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Building the Tabernacle

Rabbi Shamshon Rephael Hirsch explains that building a Jewish society with justice and humaneness is a prerequisite, before we can build something as holy as the Tabernacle. It is the foundation, without which the gifts to the Tabernacle are no Mitzvah at all.

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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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