Parshah Potpourri

The Sin of Running Away From School

Vayehi binso’a haAron vayomer Moshe kuma Hashem v’yafutzu oyvecha v’yanusu messanecha mipanecha uvenucho yomar shuva Hashem rivevos alfei Yisrael (Bamidbar 10:35-36) Parashas Behaalos’cha contains the Jewish people’s initial journey after…

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The Joy of Joining With Others

B’zos yavo Aharon el HaKodesh (Vayikra 16:3) Parashas Acharei Mos begins with the special Avodah that was performed by the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kippur to effect atonement for himself,…

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Was Yaakov Afraid of Esav?

Vayira Yaakov me’od vayeitzer lo (Bereishis 32:8) When Yaakov heard that Esav was coming toward him with 400 men, he became very frightened and distressed. Yet, there is no further…

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Following Hashem’s Mitzvos Gladly

Vata’an Rochel v’Leah vatomarna lo ha’od lanu chelek v’nachalah b’beis avinu ha’lo nachriyos nechshavnu lo ki mecharanu vayochal gam achol es kaspeinu ki kol ha’osher asher hitzil Elokim me’avinu lanu…

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The Akeidah and Us

Vayakam Avraham me’al pnei meiso vayedaber el bnei Cheis leimor ger v’toshav anochi imachem tnu li achuzas kever imachem v’ekbera meisi milfanai (Bereishis 23:3-4) The Gemara in Bava Basra (15b)…

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Keep the Door Closed!

Vayishlechu ha’anashim es yadam vayvi’u es Lot aleihem habaysah v’es hadelet sagaru (Bereishis 19:10) Parashas Vayeira contains the destruction of the wicked city of Sodom and its environs as punishment…

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Pay Your Bills!

Vayomer Avram el melech Sdom harimosi yadi el Hashem K-l Elyon Koneh Shamayim v’aretz im michut v’ad sroch na’al v’im ekach mikol asher lech v’lo tomar ani he’esharti es Avram…

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The Root Cause of the Mabul

Bachodesh hasheini b’shivah asar yom lachodesh bayom hazeh nivke’u kol maynos tehom rabbah v’arubos hashamayim niftachu (Bereishis 7:11) The Torah describes the onset of the flood by recording that on…

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What Is the Definition of Goodness?

Vayivra Elokim es ha’adam b’tzalmo b’tzelem Elokim bara oso zachar un’keivah bara osam (1:27) Parashas Bereishis begins by detailing how the universe came into existence. On each day of Creation,…

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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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