Parashat & Current Events

Pinchas 5779

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Pinchas 5779

In 1948, the Chief Rabbinate of Israel published its official prayer for the State of Israel. To this day, it is said on Shabbat and holidays in synagogues the world over, by people who recognize the “hand” of HaShem in our return to Eretz Yisrael. However, there is a big story behind the prayer, as related to me by an individual who was privy to the events.

David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, turned to the Chief Rabbi Yitzchak Herzog z”l to recommend a prayer for the Medina which would be accepted by the Israeli government as its official text.

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Balak 5779

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Balak 5779

Balak’s anti-Semitism was immense, but it had a limit. Bil’am’s hatred knew no limitations, only total annihilation with not one Jew to be left in the world. Bil’am, the man, comprised within himself the two evil forces which are threatening the Jewish nation today. He is the murderous, sadistic Muslim who supported Paro’s suggestion to physically enslave the entire Jewish nation. He is the cursing, venomous voice of the United Nation’s Security Council, the United Nation’s General Assembly, the International Court of Justice, the United Nations Human Rights Commission and the European Union. He is the voice of BDS, of J Street betrayers and traitors, of the “turn-the-other-cheek” Christian Churches – the one in Rome and the others to the East.

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Chukat 5779

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Chukat 5779

Our parsha begins with the unfathomable ritual of para aduma, the red heifer. The completely red-haired animal is burned on Har Ha’zaytim to the east of the Temple Mount, in direct line with the Holy of Holies, which enabled the officiating Kohen to see into the Holy of Holies.
The Torah informs us that all the people involved in the preparation of the para aduma become tamei (a state of ritual impurity), even though the result of their efforts is the purification of people or objects which became tamei through contact with a corpse.
How strange that the people who are engaged in the purification of others become themselves impure!

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Korach 5779

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Korach 5779

A letter to HaShem from my forthcoming book “Reflections From Yerushalayim”

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BEHA’ALOTCHA 5779

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BEHA’ALOTCHA 5779

There is No Replacement for the Torah or the Land of Israel

Eight times in his commentary on the Torah, Rashi asks, “Why was Section X juxtaposed to the section before it?”

Although this question can be asked about all the sections of the Torah, we can derive from Rashi’s eight sections that they possess a special character.

In the last chapter of Parashat Be’ha’alot’cha, Miriam criticizes her brother Moshe for having divorced his wife Tzipporah. Miriam is severely punished with biblical leprosy.

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Naso – Yom Yerushalayim 5779

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Naso – Yom Yerushalayim 5779

Two parshiot, Be’chukotai in Vayikra and Ki Tavo in Devarim, contain the harsh reproach and severe punishments that await the Jewish nation if they violate the eternal covenant entered into with the God of Israel.

Devarim 28, 45-47:
45: All these curses will come on you. They will pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the Lord your God and observe the commands and decrees he gave you.
46: They will be a sign and a wonder to you and your descendants forever.
47: Because you did not serve the Lord your God with simcha and tuv lev (good heart) even in good times.

“Simcha and u’betuv lev” do not refer to simple joy and appreciation. Moshe was referring to the absence of exuberance and enthusiasm when serving Hashem.

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