Parshah Potpourri

Why Is Moshe’s Name Missing?

V’Atah Tetzaveh (Shemos 27:20) The Baal HaTurim points out that from the birth of Moshe in Parashas Shemos until his death in Parashas V’Zos Habrachah, this week’s parashah is the…

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Mesirus Nefesh and Eternality

V’asisa es hakerashim l’Mishkan atzei shittim omdim (Shemos 26:15) Parashas Terumah introduces us to the Mishkan that Hashem commanded the Jewish people to build as a resting place for the…

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Goring Oxen and Marriage

V’chi yigof shor ish es shor rei’eihu (Shemos 21:35) In Parashas Mishpatim, the Torah discusses the laws governing damage caused by a person’s animals. In the event that a man’s…

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Yisro and Kabbalas HaTorah

Vayesaper Moshe l’chosno es kol asher asa Hashem l’Faroh ule’Mitzrayim (Shemos 18:8). Parashas Yisro contains the narrative of the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, which cemented our relationship…

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The Greatness of Krias Yam Suf

Vayasa Moshe es Yisrael miYam Suf (Shemos 15:22) At the end of the Maggid section of the Haggadah there is a dispute regarding the total number of plagues that befell…

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An Amazing Story About Matzos Mehudaros

U’shemartem es hamatzos (Shemos 12:17) Throughout the generations Jews have placed special emphasis on the matzos they procure and consume for Pesach, and great Rabbanim have many stringencies and hiddurim…

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Bikurim and Parashas Vayeira

Vayedaber Moshe kein el b’nei Yisrael v’lo sham’u el Moshe mikotzer ruach ume’avodah kashah (Shemos 6:9) Parashas Vayeira opens with Hashem responding to Moshe’s concerns by reassuring him that his…

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I’ll Do It, But Only With Hesitation

Shelach na b’yad tishlach (Shemos 4:13) When Hashem appeared to Moshe Rabbeinu at the burning bush and commanded him to return to Egypt to free the Jews from slavery, Moshe…

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What Kind of Brachah Is That?

Vayevarech osam ish asher k’virchaso berach osam (Bereishis 49:28) Just before his death, Yaakov gathered his sons together one last time to charge them with continuing his spiritual legacy. In…

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The Connection Between Yehudah and Binyamin

Ki avdecha arev es ha’naar (Bereishis 44:32) The Gemara in Sanhedrin (111b) quotes a disagreement between Rabi Yochanan and Reish Lakish regarding the rules of dividing Eretz Yisrael among the…

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Chanukah: What Are We Celebrating?

The Mishnah (Machshirin 6:4) teaches that there are seven liquids that render an object susceptible to becoming spiritually impure: dew, water, wine, oil, blood, milk and bee honey. Harav Yisroel…

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What’s Wrong With Relaxing?

Vayeishev Yaakov b’eretz megurei aviv b’eretz Canaan (Bereishis 37:1) After emerging triumphant from his struggles against Lavan and Esav, Yaakov returned to live in Canaan, his homeland. Rashi notes that…

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Avraham, Yaakov and the Eruv

Vayavo Yaakov shaleim ir Shechem asher b’eretz Canaan b’vo’o miPadan Aram vayichan es p’nei ha’ir (Bereishis 33:18) After Yaakov successfully placated his irate brother Esav, he traveled first to Sukkos…

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How Could Lavan Be Right?

Vayomer Lavan lo yei’aseh chen bimkomeinu lases hatze’irah lifnei habechirah (Bereishis 29:26) When Yaakov discovered that his swindling father-in-law Lavan had tricked him by substituting Leah for Rochel under the…

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Does a Guest Own His Food?

Vayomer Yaakov michrah kayom es bechorascha li (Bereishis 25:31) In his sefer of legal responsa called Shu”t Maharit (1:150), Harav Yosef Trani (1538-1639) discusses an incident in which a male…

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A Modern-Day Rivkah

Vateired ha’aynah vatemalei chadah vata’al vayaratz ha’eved likrasah vayomer hagmi’ini na me’at mayim mikadeich (Bereishis 24:16-17) While Eliezer was still praying to Hashem to help him find an appropriate wife…

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A Jew Is Never Stuck!

Vayar v’hinei ayal achar ne’echaz basvach b’karnav (Bereishis 22:13) At the end of Parashas Vayeira, Hashem commands Avraham to bring up his beloved son Yitzchak as an offering to Him.…

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True Beauty

Vayehi ka’asher hikriv lavo Mitzraymah, vayomer el Sarai ishto, “Hinei na yadati ki ishah yefas mareh at” (Bereishis 12:11). Due to a famine in the land of Canaan, Avraham and…

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Geulah Takes Time!

U’vachodesh hasheinu b’shiv’ah v’esrim yom la’chodesh yavsha ha’aretz (Bereishis 8:14) At the conclusion of the 40 days of rain, on 27 Kislev, the Torah records (7:20) that the level of…

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Haman and the Eitz Hadaas

Hamin ha’eitz asher tzivisicha l’vilti achol mimenu achalta (Bereishis 3:11) The Gemara (Chullin 139b) teaches that the verse in which Hashem asks Adam, “Hamin ha’eitz” — From the tree (that…

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