Parshah Potpourri

In the Merit of Moshe’s Righteousness

Al hasela hach vayeitzu mayim; b’tzidko chon cheshras mayim (Tefillas Geshem) In the prayer for rain recited by the chazzan during his repetition of the Mussaf prayers on Shemini Atzeres,…

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Do It for Your Sake

L’maancha Elokeinu asei v’lo lanu (Selichos) Harav Yisroel Reisman recounts that there was a wealthy Jew who lived in an apartment building on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. One…

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Yom Tov Called ‘Rosh Hashanah’?

The name given to each Yom Tov is intrinsically linked to the theme of the day. As such, it is curious to note that the upcoming Yom Tov is called…

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Are Bikurim Brought Every Year?

V’lakachta mereishis kol pri ha’adamah asher tavi me’artzecha asher Hashem Elokecha nosen lach v’samta vateneh v’halachta el hamakom asher yivchar Hashem Elokecha leshaken Shemo sham (Devarim 26:2) Parashas Ki Savo…

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What’s So Bad About Taking Ribbis?

Lo sashich l’achicha neshech kesef neshech ochel neshech kol davar asher yishach (Devarim 23:20) The Torah forbids us to collect ribbis (interest) when we make a loan to another Jew.…

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A Brilliant Proof From the Rogatchover

V’haya k’shivto al kisei mamlachto v’chasav lo es Mishneh HaTorah hazos al sefer milifnei haKohenim haLevi’im v’haysa imo v’kara vo kol y’mei chayav (Devarim 17:18-19) Parashas Shoftim contains the laws…

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Parashas Re’eh and Elul

Re’eh anochi nosein lifneichem hayom brachah uk’lalah (Devarim 11:26) Harav Moshe Aharon Friedman of Yeshivas Mir in Yerushalayim explains that Sefer Devarim represents a process, starting with Parashas Devarim that…

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Concentrate on Your Learning

Ba’alosi ha’hara lakachas luchos ha’avanim luchos ha’bris asher karas Hashem imachem va’eishev bahar arbaim yom v’arbaim laylah lechem lo achalti u’mayim lo shasisi (Devarim 9:9) In describing how he received…

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The Comfort of Shabbos Nachamu

Nachamu nachamu ami (Yeshaya 40:1–Haftarah) The Shabbos after Tishah B’Av is commonly referred to as Shabbos Nachamu, based on the Haftarah read on Parashas Va’eschanan that begins Nachamu Nachamu ami…

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Why Snakes?

Vatiktzar nefesh ha’am b’derech vayidaber ha’am b’Elokim uv’Moshe (Bamidbar 21:4-5) After Aharon’s death, the Jewish people became impatient and frustrated with their travels and began to complain against Hashem and…

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The Wood-Gatherer and Bedikas Chametz

Parashas Shelach concludes with a tragic incident in which the Jewish people discovered a man desecrating Shabbos by gathering wood. They told him to stop, but he disregarded their warning.…

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Value Your Time in Yeshivah!

Zos asher laLeviim miben chamesh v’esrim shanah v’maalah yavo litzvo tzava b’avodas ohel mo’ed (Bamidbar 8:24) In Parashas Behaalos’cha, the Torah stipulates that when a Levite turns 25, he begins…

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The Mishkan and Marriage

Vayehi b’yom kalos Moshe l’hakim es haMishkan (Bamidbar 7:1) Parashas Naso introduces the offerings of the leaders of the Shevatim by recording that after all the hard work and preparation,…

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Preparing for the Judgment of Shavuos

It is well known that the Gemara (Rosh Hashanah 16b) teaches that every person is judged during the 10-day period from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur. What is not as…

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Is Galus a Punishment?

V’eschem ezareh bagoyim v’harikosi achareichem cherev v’haysa artzechem shemama v’areichem yihyu charba (Vayikra 26:33) Parashas Bechukosai is commonly referred to as a parashah of tochachah — rebuke. After discussing the…

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To Be an Eved Hashem

Ki li Bnei Yisrael avadim; avadei hem asher hotzeisi osam me’Eretz Mitzrayim. Ani Hashem Elokeichem (Vayikra 25:55). At the end of Parashas Behar, Hashem declares that “the Children of Israel…

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Sefiras HaOmer Insights

Usfartem lachem mimacharas haShabbos miyom haviachem es omer hatenufah sheva shabbasos temimos tihyenah (Vayikra 23:15) Parashas Emor contains the mitzvah of Sefiras HaOmer — counting the Omer. During each successive…

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How to Love Every Jew Like Ourselves

V’ahavta l’rei’acha kamocha Ani Hashem (Vayikra 19:18) The Torah commands us to love other Jews as we love ourselves, a mitzvah known as ahavas Yisrael. The Ramban points out that…

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The Mitzvah of Being Alive

U’shemartem es chukosai v’es mishpatai asher ya’aseh osam ha’adam v’chai bahem ani Hashem (18:5) In Parashas Acharei Mos, we are commanded to guard Hashem’s decrees and laws and live through…

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A Pseudo-Blemish

U’ba asher lo habayis v’higid laKohen leimor k’nega nir’ah li babayis (Vayikra 14:35) Parashas Metzora contains the laws governing tzaraas that afflicts a person’s house. If a person discovers an…

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