Vayakhel/Pekudei- Nurturing Nedivut

Following עם ישראל’s terrible failure and merciful forgiveness in last week’s סדרה, Moshe gathers the Jews and puts them to work. After a brief interlude to remind them of the importance of keeping Shabbat, Moshe begins to instruct the Jews on the construction of the משכן, the Tabernacle. Rav Binyamin Lau in his work אתנחתא, […]

Tetzave- Wearing the Pride of “Kodesh LaHashem”

Amid a discussion of the vestments of the כהנים and the כהן גדול, one garment stands out in its short description. After 15 pesukim describing the חושן משפט, the divine breastplate of the כהן גדול, and before the five that discuss his כתונת/robe, one passuk mentions one of the most symbolic garments of the Head […]

Teruma- The Importance of Dwelling near G-d’s Dwelling

After reading at the end of last week’s סדרה, where משה goes up to הר סיני to receive the מצות from G-d, פרשת תרומה opens with some of the מצות that G-d passed on to משה during this period. The first topic discussed is the construction of the משכן, the temporary dwelling place of G-d’s […]

Mishpatim- Proactive Protection: The Importance of Sticking Together in Difficult Times

Our סדרה, which addresses many of the civil law topics within הלכה, broaches an interesting matter immediately before the end of the third עליה. Coinciding with the halfway point of ספר שמות is the command: אִם-כֶּסֶף תַּלְוֶה אֶת-עַמִּי, אֶת-הֶעָנִי עִמָּךְ–לֹא-תִהְיֶה לוֹ, כְּנֹשֶׁה; לֹא-תְשִׂימוּן עָלָיו, נֶשֶׁךְ. אִם-חָבֹל תַּחְבֹּל, שַׂלְמַת רֵעֶךָ–עַד-בֹּא הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ, תְּשִׁיבֶנּוּ לוֹ. כִּי הִוא כְסוּתֹה […]

Yitro- Sending Away our Modern-Day Yitro’s

Our eventful סדרה opens with the exciting story of a foreign dignitary from Midian (who also happened to be Moshe Rabeinu‘s Father-in-Law) visiting the Jewish People after their victory over Amalek in Refidim. Moshe is told of his important visitor, then goes out to greet him (“ויצא משה לקראת חתנו”). Pleasantries are exchanged (“וישאלו איש […]

Beshalach- Respecting the Routing of Redemption

Our סדרה continues picks up the narrative of the Jews’ exodus from Egypt, following a brief discussion about בכורים and תפילין. Immediately, we learn that G-d, in His infinite wisdom, decided to reroute the Jewish People through the wilderness, and not the Waze-recommended route through the land of the Pelishtim, though the reasoning why is […]