Parashat & Current Events

Beshalach 5779

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Beshalach 5779

The Israelites went up out of Egypt “chamushim”. Rashi cites two interpretations for the word “chamushim”. One, based on the root CHAMESH meaning five, because only one in five Jews agreed to leave Egypt; and the other from the root CHIMUSH, meaning armed with weapons.

Are these really two different interpretations?

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Bo 5779

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Bo 5779

The Torah states that the number of Jewish men between the ages of 20 and 60 who left Egypt totaled 600,000, in addition to countless women and children. The Yalkut Shimoni (an aggadic compilation on the Torah) quotes one opinion that this number represents only 1 out of every 5 Jewish men, that is 3,000,000, meaning that 20% left Egypt and 80% remained.
What happened to those who did not want to leave?

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Va’ai’ra 5779

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Va’ai’ra 5779

The book of Daniel, chapter 3, relates that King Nevuchadnetzer of Babylon erected a statue in the capital which was to be worshipped by representatives of the many lands and peoples he had conquered.

The King was informed that three of his Jewish administrators, Chananya, Misha’el and Azarya refused to bow to the idol. Nevuchadnetzer gave them the choice of either bowing down or being thrown into a fiery furnace and seeing if their God would save them.

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Shemot 5779

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Shemot 5779

At age eighty, after many years of filling important, responsible, royal positions in the Egyptian government, Moshe set out from the palace to see what was happening in those regions far removed from the capital. He saw an Egyptian taskmaster smiting a Hebrew slave. Moshe was seized with wrath and killed the Egyptian.

1. Why was Moshe shocked by the sight of an Egyptian smiting a Jew? Did he not know that millions of Jews were being beaten daily?
2. If Moshe believed that he behaved properly in killing the Egyptian, why did he not bring the matter before Pharaoh, instead choosing to flee the country?

Was it just a “coincidence” that Moshe found himself in Yitro’s home?

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Va’ye’chi 5779

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Va’ye’chi 5779

In the last parasha of the Torah, Zot Habracha, Moshe blesses every tribe, except for one – Shimon; because of their sinful conduct with the Midianite women. The implication was that Shimon would no longer merit a tribal area in the holy land, thus relegating Shimon to irrelevancy in future Jewish history. Rashi relates that Yehuda came to Shimon’s rescue by praying to HaShem and begging Moshe to reconsider his position. Moshe did so, allotting Shimon an enclave within the tribal area of Yehuda consisting of several cities but no wide spaces of land. But at least Shimon retained a degree of relevancy.

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Vayigash 5779

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Vayigash 5779

Jews often wonder, “Even now, after returning to our God-given homeland following 2000 years of repression and degradation, why must we still fight for our survival. Rebono Shel Olam – Isn’t enough?”
The answer is an emphatic NO!

I will explain…

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