Parshah Potpourri

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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The Key to Shemiras Halashon

Adam ki yihyeh b’or besaro se’is o sapachas o baheres v’haya b’or besaro l’nega tzaraas (Vayikra 13:2) Parashas Tazria and Parashas Metzora primarily focus on tzaraas — the various forms…

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What Did Elazar and Isamar Do Wrong?

Vayiktsof al Elazar v’al Isamar bnei Aharon hanosarim (Shemini 10:16) After the deaths of Nadav and Avihu, Moshe Rabbeinu commanded Aharon and his surviving sons Elazar and Isamar to continue…

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Who Brings a Korban Minchah?

V’nefesh ki sakriv korban minchah l’Hashem (Vayikra 2:1) Parashas Vayikra introduces us to the various offerings that were offered in the Mishkan, one of which was the korban minchah (meal-offering).…

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Beis Yisrael — The Foundation of Klal Yisrael

Ki anan Hashem al haMishkan yomam v’eish tihyeh laylah bo l’einei chol Beis Yisrael b’chol maseihem (Shemos 40:38) The book of Shemos concludes by recording that the Mishkan was covered…

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Was There Enough — Or Too Much?

V’hamlachah haysa dayam l’chol hamlachah la’asos osah v’hoser (Shemos 36:7) There seems to be an internal inconsistency in our verse that a number of commentators grapple with. The Torah says…

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How Do the 13 Middos Work?

Vaya’avor Hashem al panav vayikra (Shemos 34:6) In the aftermath of the Sin of the Golden Calf, Moshe asked Hashem to show him “His glory.” The Torah records that Hashem…

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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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