Parshah Potpourri

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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The Cause of Lot’s Downfall

Vayikchu es Lot v’es rechusho ben achi Avraham (Bereishis 14:12) In Parashas Lech Lecha, four kings banded together and fought a war against five other kings. During the ensuing battles,…

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The Perspective of ‘Hayah

Eileh toldos Noach Noach ish tzaddik tamim hayah b’dorosav (Bereishis 6:9) Parashas Noach begins by relating that Noach was perfectly righteous in his generations. The Midrash (Bereishis Rabbah 30:8) makes…

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Where Did Moshe ‘Go’?

Vayeilech Moshe vaye’dabeir es ha’devarim ha’eileh el kol Yisrael (Devarim 31:1) Parashas Vayeilech begins by relating that Moshe went and spoke to the entire Jewish nation. However, the Ohr Hachaim…

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How We Can Bring Bikurim Today

Hinei heiveisi es reishis pri ha’adamah asher nasata li Hashem. V’hinachto lifnei Hashem Elokecha v’hishtachavisa lifnei Hashem Elokecha (Devarim 26:10) A farmer is required to bring bikurim, the first ripened…

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Why Did Dovid Thank Hashem?

Lo yavo Ammoni u’Moavi bi’khal Hashem gam dor asiri lo yavo lahem bi’khal Hashem ad olam. (Devarim 23:4) The Torah forbids a person who is born to proper Jewish parents…

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Real Chumros

U’mi ha’ish asher eiras ishah v’lo lekachah yeilech v’yashov l’veiso pen yamus ba’milchamah v’ish acher yikachenah (Devarim 20:7) Just before the Jewish army goes off to war, a Kohen who…

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The Buck Stops Here!

V’nasata es ha’brachah al Har Gerizim v’es ha’klalah al Har Eival (Devarim 11:29) Parashas Re’eh begins with Moshe informing the Jewish people that when they entered the Land of Israel,…

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Is Gaavah Ever Permitted?

V’ram levavech v’shachta es Hashem Elokecha ha’motzia’cha me’Eretz Mitzrayim mibeis avadim (Devarim 8:14) In Parashas Eikev, the Torah cautions against haughtiness, explaining that it can cause a person to forget…

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The Simchah of Tu B’Av

The 15th day of the month of Av is commonly referred to as Tu B’Av, and it traditionally falls close to Shabbos Parashas Va’eschanan. Our Sages teach (Taanis 4:8) that…

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The “Burden” of Prayer

Eichah esa levadi tarchachem u’masa’achem v’rivchem (Devarim 1:12) In Parashas Devarim, Moshe reviews the episode that led to the appointment of judges to assist him (Shemos 18:13–26), explaining that he…

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How Do You Define Yourself?

V’Yair ben Menasheh halach vayilkod es chavoseihem vayikra es’hem Chavos Yair (Bamidbar 32:41) At the end of Parashas Mattos, the Torah discusses two individuals who captured lands in Ever HaYarden…

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Following Our True Shepherd

Yifkod Hashem Elokei haruchos l’chol basar ish al ha’eidah (Bamidbar 27:16) After Hashem showed Moshe the Land of Israel but told him that he would not be permitted to enter…

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Be Careful What You Ask For

Vayisyatzeiv malach Hashem ba’derech l’satan lo (Bamidbar 22:22) Many times in life we are convinced that we know what we need and we become upset when it doesn’t work out…

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The Zechus of Mei Merivah

Vayomer Hashem el Moshe v’el Aharon yaan lo he’emantem Bi l’hakdisheini l’einei Bnei Yisrael lachein lo savi’u es hakahal hazeh el haAretz asher nasati lahem (Bamidbar 20:12) In the prayer…

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