Parshah Potpourri

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,…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

Bris Milah as Creation

Uvayom hashemini yimol besar orlaso (Vayikra 12:3) In Parashas Vayishlach, Shechem abducted and defiled Yaakov’s daughter Dina (Bereishis 34:2). Dina’s brothers Shimon and Levi were appalled by this immoral behavior,…

Read more »

True Leadership Qualifications

Vayomer Moshe el Aharon krav el hamizbei’ach (Vayikra 9:7) In the beginning of Parashas Shemini, Moshe instructs Aharon to go to the Altar and bring offerings to effect atonement for…

Read more »

Appreciating Pain and Suffering

Parashas Tzav contains the laws governing the korban Todah. In expounding upon this section, the Midrash quotes a verse in Tehillim (50:23): “Zovei’ach todah y’chabdan’ni — A person who brings…

Read more »

Rav Meir Simchah’s Brilliant Insight

V’im lo sagi’ah yado dei seh (5:7) The Mekor Boruch, Rav Nochum Boruch Ginsburg, recounts that he once entered the home of the Ohr Sameach and found him beaming with…

Read more »

Translating Plans Into Reality

V’asah Betzalel v’Ohaliav v’chol ish chacham lev asher nassan Hashem chochmah u’sevunah ba’heimah ladaas laasos es kol meleches avodas hakodesh l’chol asher tzivahu Hashem (Shemos 36:1) At first glance, Parashas…

Read more »