Parshah Potpourri

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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Korach and the Parah Adumah

Vayikahalu al Moshe v’al Aharon vayomru aleihem rav lachem ki kol ha’eidah kulam kedoshim (Bamidbar 16:3) The Midrash Peliah teaches that Korach was motivated to rebel against Moshe when he…

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Compassion for Sinners

Vayanicheihu oso ba’mishmar ki lo porash mah yei’aseh lo (Bamidbar 15:34) Parashas Emor concludes with a tragic episode in which a man cursed and blasphemed Hashem. Initially, Moshe did not…

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Truly Tamei?

Vayehi anashim asher hayu temei’im l’nefesh adam (Bamidbar 9:6). When the time arrived to offer the korban Pesach in the wilderness, there was a group of people who were temei’im…

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Why Isn’t Simchas Torah on Shavuos?

Ad mi’macharas haShabbos hasheviis tisperu chamishim yom v’hikravtem minchah chadashah l’Hashem (Vayikra 23:16) Although the Torah does not explicitly link the Yom Tov of Shavuos and the giving of the…

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The Connection Between Behar and Bechukosai

Ki savo’u el ha’aretz asher ani nosein lachem v’shavsah ha’aretz Shabbos l’Hashem (Vayikra 25:2) Parashas Behar begins by introducing us to the mitzvah of Shemittah (the Sabbatical year), which requires…

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Rosh Hashanah, Shofar, and Akeidas Hadaas

Dabeir el Bnei Yisrael leimor, “Bachodesh hashevii b’echad lachodesh yihyeh lachem Shabbason zichron teruah mikra kodesh” (Vayikra 23:24) The Gemara in Rosh Hashanah (29b) points out that Parashas Pinchas (Bamidbar…

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The Critical Lesson of Orlah

V’ki savo’u el ha’aretz u’netatem kol eitz maachal v’araltem orlaso es piryo shalosh shanim yih’yeh lachem areilim lo yei’achel (Vayikra 19:23) The Torah forbids the consumption of orlah, the fruits…

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