Parashat & Current Events

Tazria 5779

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Tazria 5779

Aharon HaKohen had just lost two of his oldest and most competent sons while they were serving God in the Mishkan. Yet he was commanded by HaShem to complete his tasks despite his profound personal tragedy. The Torah describes Aharon’s irreconcilable personal trauma in two thunderous words “Va’yiedom Aharon” – And Aharon was silent.

Yehoshua bin Nun was commanded by HaShem to fulfill an impossible mission: he was to follow Moshe Rabbeinu as the leader of the Jewish people.

How does one replace the irreplaceable?

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Shemini and Parah 5779

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Shemini and Parah  5779

After 3500 years of serving as HaShem’s chosen people with a history unlike any other nation – neither in suffering nor in accomplishments – the time has come for us to ask if the Jewish nation is a success story or a failure.

We are the only ancient people that is still alive – success. However, the majority of Jews today are not conscious Torah observers – failure. So, at the end of the day, is HaShem “happy” or “disappointed” with us?

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Tzav – Purim 5779

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Tzav – Purim 5779

The Gemara (Megila 7a) tells of Esther’s request that the miraculous salvation of the Jewish people and the events leading up to it be included in the TaNaCh (Bible) as its 24th book, to be an everlasting remembrance of HaShem’s intervention for the Jewish nation in our miraculous victory over the forces of Amalek.The rabbis rejected her request, basing their rejection on a verse in Mishlay (Proverbs 24:20)

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Pekudai 5779

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Pekudai 5779

Love thy Jewish brother as yourself, I am HaShem.
HaShem’s demand that we orient ourselves to love our fellow Jew as we love ourselves is an extreme demand. How can one bring himself to this sublime degree of altruism?
And why does this mitzva end with the words “I am HaShem”, when they do not appear in most other mitzvot?

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Vayakhel 5779

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Vayakhel 5779

The Megillah records that Achashverosh permitted the Jews to defend themselves on the 13th of Adar against their murderous neighbors in the 127 areas under the King’s control. On that day, the Jews killed 75,000 of the enemy in the outlying areas. An additional 800 were killed in Shushan, the capital, in the two days of fighting there on the 13th and 14th of Adar.

75,800 in two days! That number is vastly larger than what we are seeing today in the Arab countries, yet there is no recorded call by the people of his kingdom for Achashverosh’s head or for the end of the monarchy.

Why not?

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Tetzaveh  5779

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Tetzaveh  5779

The Midrash Raba (Scriptural exegesis) on this week’s parasha compares the Jewish nation with olive oil in two respects: olive oil does not combine with other liquids; and when added to another liquid olive oil rises to the top. So too, the Jewish people maintain a hard core who have never inter-married with Gentiles and never will, and when permitted to, we always rise to the top of society.
But there is a third comparison…

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