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Weekly Parsha

HAAZINU 5782 9/12/2021 12:00 AM

These last chapters of the Torah, culminating in this week's reading, are all a very serious and have an almost fearsome quality and tone. Heaven and earth are called upon to be the ultimate witnesses regarding the covenant that the Lord has made with Israel for all time. Rashi points out to us that human witnesses and even historical tradition within families, tribes and other groups are...

VAYELECH 5782 9/5/2021 12:26 AM

Our teacher Moshe is described in the Parsha as being near the end of his life in this world. Yet, the Torah also describes his last days on earth as being vigorous, healthy, while continuing to teach and guide the people of Israel, as he had done for the past 40 years. The Torah itself testifies that even on the last days of life in this world, he was able to climb mountains, and gather the...

NITZAVIM 5781 8/29/2021 12:33 AM

Towards the conclusion of his long final oration to the Jewish people, our teacher Moshe refers once more to the covenant between God and Israel. A covenant is much more than a relationship or an agreement. Covenants, in the Jewish sense of the word, are not altered by changing times and differing circumstances. A covenant has the ring of eternity, not only in time but also in content. ...

KI TAVO 5781 8/22/2021 12:01 AM

The opening words of this week's Torah reading have been repeated often throughout the entire discourse by Moshe with the Jewish people, which constitutes the bulk of this book of Devarim. This two-word phrase, KI TAVO, should be understood as meaning “when you will come into the land of Israel,” and not an alternative meaning of "if you will conquer the land of Israel". There is a...

KI TEITZEI 5781 8/15/2021 12:04 AM

The Torah speaks of making war upon one's enemy. Who is this enemy? The simple explanation is that it is a physical or national enemy that wishes to harm the Jewish people or the commonwealth of Israel. To defend oneself from such an enemy, there are circumstances that dictate a type of preventive war that avoids later defeat or catastrophe. This is certainly the simple and literal...

SHOFTIM 5781 8/8/2021 11:09 AM

This week's Torah reading envisions for us an efficient, organized system of law and order, justice, and fairness. The Torah set a very high bar regarding the selection of judges and police. They are to be free of prejudice, bias and personally held agendas and social ideals. They are literally to be blind, without knowledge as to the nature and personalities of the litigants who appear before...

RE’EH 5781 8/1/2021 12:00 AM

Stripping away all the details that oftentimes clutter our lives, we can agree that the type of life that we live is pretty much dependent upon the choices that we make throughout our lifetimes. Often, these choices were made when we were yet young and immature. Nevertheless, we are forced to live by those choices and decisions, that we may now, with greater life experience under our belts,...

EKEV 5781 7/25/2021 12:03 AM

In this week's portion, the Torah seemingly indicates that there is a simple formula for Jewish life and success while living in the land of Israel. If we follow the commandments of God and observe the laws of the Torah, the Jewish people will be showered with physical blessings of health, longevity, and prosperity. And if the Jewish people, for whatever reasons, chooses to deviate from the...

VA-ETCHANAN 5781 7/18/2021 05:11 PM

Although our teacher Moshe figuratively tears down the gates of Heaven with his prayers and supplications to be allowed to enter the land of Israel, his wish is not granted. Over the centuries, the commentators have offered various explanations as to why Heaven, so to speak, remains so adamant in refusing his request and prayer. Even though many great and noble insights have been advanced to...

DVARIM 5781 7/11/2021 09:36 AM

This last oration of our teacher Moshe reviews the occurrences in history of the Jewish people after their miraculous Exodus from Egypt. The words of Moshe are very personal to him alone and reflect his recollection and viewpoint of all of the events and incidents that occurred during the 40 -year sojourn of the Jewish people in the desert of Sinai. Nuances of difference sometime appear...