Thursday, June 29th, 2017

Parashat Masai: A Torah Travelogue by Yaakov Bieler

July 28, 2011 by  
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The assumption that everything contained in the Tora has spiritual meaning. When encountering biblical material whose significance is not readily apparent, the creativity of Rabbinic commentators down through the ages comes to the fore. Most begin with the premise that whatever is recorded in the Tora has some sort of lasting spiritual significance.[1] However, determining [...]

Parashat Matot: Moshe Begins to Take a Back Seat by Yaakov Bieler

July 22, 2011 by  
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Significant changes in the leadership of the Jewish people. The latter portion of the book of BaMidbar describes a profound changing of the guard in terms of Jewish leadership. Parashat Chukat first relates the death of Miriam (20:1) followed by the Divine Decree that neither Moshe nor Aharon will enter Canaan (20:12). While Moshe’s actual [...]

The Sons of Korah Did Not Die – Between Thought and Deed in Judaism by Mois Navon

July 14, 2011 by  
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One of the most prominent aspects of Jewish life – perhaps the defining aspect – is the focus on the deed, the mitzvah according to halacha, as opposed to simply the thought.  We find this notion expressed in a subtle yet powerful way through the experiences of the sons of Korah. The altercation between Korah [...]

The Three Week Challenge by Erica Brown

July 12, 2011 by  
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There are certain features of an Orthodox life that you don’t expect non-Orthodox people to know or observe. If you’ve never heard of cholent, you’re not likely to encounter it on a cable food program any time soon. If you haven’t heard of the prohibition of tearing toilet paper on Shabbat or the intricacies of [...]

Parashat Pinchas: “Now You Don’t See Them and Now You Do” by Yaakov Bieler

July 12, 2011 by  
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We thought that we had heard the last of Korach and those associated with him. When the Tora recounts the story of Korach’s rebellion, it appears that not only do the organizers of the revolt meet an unnatural end,[1] but their families die as well. (BaMidbar 16:32-33) “And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed [...]

Parashat Balak – Bila’am as a “Darth Vader” Figure by R. Yaakov Bieler

July 7, 2011 by  
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Why is it presumed, even by Bila’am himself, that he has sinned and is in need of repentance? Although Bila’am learned at the outset that God was displeased with his readiness to curse the Jewish people at Balak’s behest,[1] he eventually received Divine Permission to travel to Moav, with the proviso that his going  was contingent [...]

Parashat Chukat: Being Sorely Challenged to Keep the Faith by Yaakov Bieler

July 1, 2011 by  
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 Sinning continues, but this time others are ensnared in the iniquity of the Jewish people.  In Parashat Chukat, rather than continuing to focus upon the shortcomings of the Jewish people, as was the case in the Parshiot beginning with BeHa’alotcha,[1] [2] we turn our attention to a fatal error committed by Moshe and Aharon (20:1-13). [...]