Parshah Potpourri

Ayin Tovah and Lashon Hara: Two Opposites

Zos tihyeh toras hametzora (Tazria–Metzora 14:2) The Magen Avraham (Orach Chaim 60:2) quotes the Sefer Hakavanos, the teachings of the Arizal recorded by his closest disciple, Harav Chaim Vital, zt”l,…

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Parashah Potpourri – Genuine Humility

Va’yomer Moshe el Aharon hu asher diber Hashem leimor bikrovai ekadesh (Shemini, 10:3) Parashas Tzav concluded by describing the service that Moshe performed for seven days to inaugurate the Mishkan.…

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The Value of the Hidden Sefer Torah

Vayikach vayiten es haEidus el haAron (40:20) Hashem commanded Moshe (25:16) to place in the Ark the “testimony” which Hashem would give him. Rashi explains that this is a reference…

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The Most Dominant Gene

Ein Esther magedes moladtah v’es amah ka’asher tzivah aleha Mordechai (Esther 2:20) When Esther was initially brought to the royal palace under the charge of Hegai, she found favor in…

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Torah for All

V’asu aron atzei shittim (Shemos 25:10) Parashas Terumah introduces us to the Mishkan which Hashem commanded the Jewish people to build as a resting place for the Divine Presence. Hashem…

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Successful Relationships: Quality Over Quantity

Vayakam Moshe v’Yehoshua mesharso vaya’al Moshe el Har HaElokim (Shemos 24:13) At the end of Parashas Mishpatim, the Torah describes Yehoshua as Moshe’s servant, who was so close to his…

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Overcoming Jealousy

Lo sachmod beis rei’echa lo sachmod eishes rei’echa v’avdo v’amaso v’shoro v’chamoro v’chol asher l’rei’echa (Shemos 20:14) The seminal event in Parashas Yisro is the giving of the Torah and…

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Shidduchim — Our Own Personal Krias Yam Suf

Vayavo’u Bnei Yisrael b’soch hayam bayabashah v’hamayim lahem chomah mi’yeminam u’mi’smolam (Shemos 14:22) The focal event in Parashas Beshalach is Krias Yam Suf (the splitting of the Sea of Reeds),…

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The 70-Year Time Limit

U’lema’an t’sapeir b’aznei bincha u’ben bincha es asher hisalalti b’Mitzrayim v’es ososai asher samti vam vi’yedatem ki ani Hashem (Shemos 10:2) In his Ruach Chaim commentary on Pirkei Avos (3:1),…

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How Many Staffs Were There?

Ki yedaber aleichem Paroh leimor tenu lachem mofes v’amarta el Aharon kach es mat’cha v’hashleich lifnei Paroh yehi l’sanin (Shemos 7:9) The Mishnah in Avos (5:6) teaches that one of…

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The Power of Mama Rochel

V’eileh shemos Bnei Yisrael ha’ba’im Mitzraymah (Shemos 1:1) In his first comment on Parashas Shemos, Rashi writes that although Hashem had already counted the Jews who descended to Egypt by…

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The Power of Mama Rochel

Ve’ani b’vo’i miPadan meisah alay Rochel b’eretz Canaan b’derech b’od kivras aretz lavo Efrasa v’ekberehah sham b’derech Efras hee Beis Lachem (Bereishis 48:7) When Yaakov realized that the time of…

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Unraveling the Mystery of Yerushalayim

Ki avde’cha arav es hana’ar me’im avi (Bereishis 44:32) The Gemara in Sanhedrin (111b) quotes a disagreement between Rav Yochanan and Reish Lakish regarding the rules of dividing Eretz Yisrael…

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The Added Chanukah Lights

Beis Shammai omrim yom rishon madlik shemoneh mikan v’eilech poches v’holeich, u’Beis Hillel omrim yom rishon madlik achad, mikan v’eilech mosif v’holech (Shabbos 21b) The Gemara in Shabbos (21b) records…

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The Precise Punishment for Mechiras Yosef

Vayomer Yehudah el echav ‘mah betza ki naharog es achinu v’chisinu es damo. Lechu v’nimkerenu laYishmaelim’ (Bereishis 37:26–27) The Gemara in Shabbos (10b) teaches that the preferential treatment that Yosef…

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How Does Esav Attack?

Vayi’vaser Yaakov levado vayei’avek ish imo ad alos hashachar (Bereishis 32:25) After ferrying his family across a stream, Yaakov returned to the other side to retrieve some small pitchers that…

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Expanding Your ‘I’

Vayikach me’avnei ha’makom vayasem me’ra’ashosav vayishkav ba’makom ha’hu (Bereishis 28:11) Rashi writes that before Yaakov went to sleep, he placed stones around his head to protect him against a potential…

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The Power of Childhood Memories

Vayehi ki zaken Yitzchak vatich’hena einav meir’os (Bereishis 27:1) The Torah records that Yitzchak was blind at the end of his life, which enabled Yaakov to deceive him to receive…

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How to Find a Good Shidduch

V’hayah ha’naarah asher omar eileha hati na kadeich v’eshteh, v’amrah she’seih v’gam gemalecha ashkeh, osah hochachta l’avdecha l’Yitzchak (Bereishis 24:14) Eliezer established a litmus test to determine whether a potential…

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You’ll Always Be a Little Kid!

Vayomer Avraham el ne’arav sh’vu lachem poh im ha’chamor v’ani v’ha’naar neilchah ad koh (Bereishis 22:5) In 1908, Harav Yehudah Leib Zirelson, zt”l, was appointed Rabbi of the town of…

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