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 […]

Parshat Vayikra- Missing the Message of “Mikreh”

When starting a new sefer of the Pentateuch, it’s always interesting to try to get a feel for the book- what its main message is, what types of stories it contains, and why they are all together. However, before reaching that deeper level, a good starting point is the name of the sefer. Ours is called “ויקרא,” literally […]

Teruma- Blueprints for Success

Our parsha, which mainly discusses very detailed instructions for the building of the Mishkan, sneaks in at the beginning a hint as to why the Jewish People should undertake such a big construction project: וְעָשׂוּ לִי, מִקְדָּשׁ; וְשָׁכַנְתִּי, בְּתוֹכָם. You shall make for me a sanctuary and I will dwell in it (שמות כה:ח) On a basic […]

Vayishlach- Clarifying Completeness

Less than thirteen years ago, life in the United States felt like Cloud Nine, almost detached from the rest of the world where wars were being fought and terrorist attacks were being perpetrated. Existence was simply about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. On September 11, 2001, the USA rejoined the real the world […]

Ki Tavo- Collective Cautioning

A large part of our parsha contains the תוכחה (admonition) that Moshe Rabeinu gives to עם ישראל to repeat once they enter ארץ ישראל. In it, he separates the tribes and gives blessings and curses to the nation if they follow or do not follow G-d’s commands, respectively. While it is clear that עם ישראל […]

Re’eh- The Missing Municipality

In our parsha, Moshe Rabeinu’s monologue begins to shift topics, transitioning from a philosophical discussion into more practical laws that will affect the Jewish People as they enter Eretz Yisrael. Despite the fact that many of these laws center around Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Israel, the word ירושלים is never actually mentioned in our portion. Instead, […]

Beha’alotcha- Sporadic Spiritual Sojourns

SPORADIC SPIRITUAL SOJOURNS (על פי ה’ יסעו בני ישראל ועל פי ה’ יחנו כל ימי אשר ישכון הענן על המשכן יחנו” (במדבר ט’:י”ח” Our פרשה is distinctly divided into two sections, split in the middle with the short section of “ויהי בנסוע הארון,” where we read of the procedures that בני ישראל would go through […]