Parshah Potpourri

Why Was Moshe Buried in Gad’s Portion?

U’mikneh rav haya livnei Reuven v’livnei Gad atzum me’od vayir’u es Eretz Ya’azer v’es Eretz Gilad v’hinei hamakom makom mikneh (Bamidbar 32:1) Just prior to Moshe’s death, he blessed each…

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The Key to Jewish Leadership

Pinchas ben Elazar ben Aharon Hakohen heishiv es chamasi me’al Bnei Yisrael (Bamidbar 25:11) At the end of Parashas Balak, the Jewish people were enticed to sin, which resulted in…

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The Key to Jewish Leadership

Pinchas ben Elazar ben Aharon Hakohen heishiv es chamasi me’al Bnei Yisrael (Bamidbar 25:11) At the end of Parashas Balak, the Jewish people were enticed to sin with Midianite women,…

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Toiling But Not Tired

Lo hibit aven b’Yaakov v’lo ra’ah amal b’Yisrael (Bamidbar 23:21) Bilaam praised the Jewish people for the fact that Hashem doesn’t see any “amal” — toil and hard work —…

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Parah Adumah: A Chok?

Daber el Bnei Yisrael v’yikchu eilecha parah adumah temimah (Bamidbar 19:2) Parashas Chukas begins with the mitzvah of the parah adumah (red heifer), the ashes of which were used to…

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Kohanim and Techiyas Hameisim

Kein tarimu gam atem terumas Hashem … u’nesatem mimenu es terumas Hashem l’Aharon Hakohen (Bamidbar 18:28) The Gemara in Brachos (46a) relates that Rabi Abahu once made a festive meal…

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The Downfall of the Meraglim

Vayishlach osam Moshe miMidbar Paran al pi Hashem kulam anashim rashei Bnei Yisrael heima (Bamidbar 13:3) The Torah refers to the spies sent by Moshe to scout out Eretz Yisrael…

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Ignore the Complainers!

Vayehi ha’am k’misonenim ra b’aznei Hashem (Bamidbar 11:1) Although the Torah had until now recounted a handful of isolated sins committed by the Jewish people, in Parashas Behaalos’cha they begin…

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The Nazir’s Sin

A nazir is a person who voluntarily accepts upon himself three restrictions: not to cut his hair, not to come into contact with the dead and not to consume wine…

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Shalom Bayis and Learning All Night on Shavuos

  There is a widespread custom to stay up throughout the night on Shavuos engaged in Torah study. The Magen Avraham (494) suggests that this custom developed because the Midrash…

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The Power of Ameilus BaTorah

Im bechukosai teileichu (Vayikra 26:3) Parashas Bechukosai begins by promising tremendous blessings for those who obey Hashem’s commandments (26:3-12). What must one do to warrant these rewards? Rashi explains that…

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Even Sinners Deserve Compassion

Vayanicheihu b’mishmar lifrosh lahem al pi Hashem (Vayikra 24:12) Parashas Emor concludes with a tragic episode in which a man cursed and blasphemed Hashem. Initially, Moshe did not know the…

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How Could Shaul Engage in Sorcery?

V’ha’nefesh asher tifneh el haOvos … liznos achareihem v’nasati es panai banefesh ha’hu v’hichrati oso mikerev amo (20:6) The Torah commands us in no uncertain terms not to turn for…

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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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