Negating the Negah: Balancing Sucessful Spiritual Life in Eretz Yisrael and מרוב עצות לא רואים את היער

“Life in Eretz Yisrael presents unique challenges, many of them spiritual. But, unlike challenges everywhere else in the world, they are directly from Hashem, and we do a great disservice to ourselves by taking them as “mikreh,” and not seeing them as a message from Hashem.

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Metzora- Tzara’at… But in a Good Way!

וַיְדַבֵּ֣ר ה’ אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֥ה וְאֶֽל־אַהֲרֹ֖ן לֵאמֹֽר׃ כִּ֤י תָבֹ֙אוּ֙ אֶל־אֶ֣רֶץ כְּנַ֔עַן אֲשֶׁ֥ר אֲנִ֛י נֹתֵ֥ן לָכֶ֖ם לַאֲחֻזָּ֑ה וְנָתַתִּי֙ נֶ֣גַע צָרַ֔עַת בְּבֵ֖ית אֶ֥רֶץ אֲחֻזַּתְכֶֽם׃ And Hashem spoke to Moshe and Aharon saying: When you come to Eretz Canaan which I will give to you as an inheritance and I will put tzara’at on the houses of the land which […]

Tazria- Seeking the King on the Muddy Bed of the Exile

Our sedra opens with a discussion of the impurities which a woman who has just given birth experiences, and the length of time which she remains impure after giving birth to a son or daughter. The Zohar (beginning of Tazria) doesn’t waste any time in getting off subject, immediately quoting a passuk from the beginning of […]

Shemini- This Is Not the Time to Be Silent

In our sedra, at what is perhaps the climax of chanukat hamishkan, Aharon’s precious two older sons are killed by a heavenly fire, after they offer an “אש זרה” in the heichal. We’ve already discussed that this may have been a well-intentioned error, a drunken mistake, or Nadav and Avihu just being in the wrong […]

Amalek: The Danger of not having Doubts

In the world of behavioral psychology, one of the most powerful motivators for human behavior is doubt. Human nature dictates that as long as a person is sure of their beliefs and intentions, they cannot be stopped- one need not look farther than the inspiring example of the thousands of olim who come to Israel every year, […]

Behar- Biting Our Brethren

In the midst of a sedra which begins by discussing the sanctity of the Jewish People’s connection to Eretz Yisrael (Shemita, Yovel), the theme quickly jumps to the sanctity of Jews’ relationships with other Jews. A theme quickly develops of the importance of helping out a fellow Jew in need (the repeated phrase “כי ימוך […]