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Weekly Divrei Torah on the Parasha | Holidays | Chagim

Parashat Ekev – Hidden Value

וְהָיָה עֵקֶב תִּשְׁמְעוּן אֵת הַמִּשְׁפָּטִים הָאֵלֶּה וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם וַעֲשִׂיתֶם אֹתָם And it will be, because you will follow these laws, and keep and perform them.   This week’s parashah begins with Hashem’s promise of many wonderful things when we keep the...

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Parashat Va’etchanan – Praying With A Minyan

כִּי מִי גוֹי גָּדוֹל אֲשֶׁר לוֹ אֱ-לֹהִים קְרֹבִים אֵלָיו כַּה’ אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ בְּכָל קָרְאֵנוּ אֵלָיו For which nation is so great that it has God so near to it, as Hashem our God is at any time we call upon Him?   Three times a day we are lucky enough to have a...

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Parashat Devarim – Societal Responsibility

לֹא תַכִּירוּ פָנִים בַּמִּשְׁפָּט Do not favor anyone in (matters pertaining to) justice   At the base of a functioning society is a judicial system. One of the seven Mitzvot that even non-Jews are commanded to follow is to set up such a system. The Chafetz Chaim...

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Parashat Matot – Prepare For Battle

וְאֶת מַלְכֵי מִדְיָן הָרְגוּ עַל חַלְלֵיהֶם אֶת אֱוִי וְאֶת רֶקֶם וְאֶת צוּר וְאֶת חוּר וְאֶת רֶבַע חֲמֵשֶׁת מַלְכֵי מִדְיָן וְאֵת בִּלְעָם בֶּן בְּעוֹר הָרְגוּ בֶּחָרֶב And they killed the Midianite kings upon their corpses (in addition to the others who were...

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Parashat Pinchas – Whatever You Want

לְיֵצֶר מִשְׁפַּחַת הַיִּצְרִי לְשִׁלֵּם מִשְׁפַּחַת הַשִּׁלֵּמִי  From Yetzer, the Yitzri family. From Shilem, the Shilemi family    After the Jews sinned with the women from Moav, there was a plague in which many died. Like a farmer who loses part of his crops, or a...

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Parashat Chukat Balak – Sealed Lips

וְכֹל כְּלִי פָתוּחַ אֲשֶׁר אֵין צָמִיד פָּתִיל עָלָיו טָמֵא הוּא Any open vessel which has no seal secured on it is impure   The Torah discusses the laws of how tum’ah, impurity, can spread from a corpse. One of the ways it spreads is that when the corpse is indoors,...

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Parashat Korach – The Cover Doesn’t Tell The Whole Story

וַיִּקַּח קֹרַח… וְדָתָן וַאֲבִירָם… וְאוֹן בֶּן פֶּלֶת… וַיָּקֻמוּ לִפְנֵי מֹשֶׁה וַאֲנָשִׁים מִבְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל חֲמִשִּׁים וּמָאתָיִם נְשִׂיאֵי עֵדָה קְרִאֵי מוֹעֵד אַנְשֵׁי שֵׁם Korach… along with Datan and Aviram… and On the son of Pelet… confronted Moshe...

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Parashat Shelach – Self Confidence

וַנְּהִי בְעֵינֵינוּ כַּחֲגָבִים וְכֵן הָיִינוּ בְּעֵינֵיהֶם We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and so we were in their eyes.   The Jews sent an advance team of spies, at the people’s insistence, into Eretz Yisrael. Kind of a last “checkup” before the...

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Parashat Beha’alotcha – Supporting Torah

…וְזֶה מַעֲשֵׂה הַמְּנֹרָה מִקְשָׁה זָהָב עַד יְרֵכָהּ This is how to form the menorah, hammered work of gold, from its base…   The Menorah, the seven armed candelabra in the Mishkan and later the Bet HaMikdash, was a source of light for them. Chazal tell us that the...

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Parashat Nasso – The Mitzva Of Teshuva

וְהִתְוַדּוּ אֶת חַטָּאתָם אֲשֶׁר עָשׂוּ …and they shall confess the sin that they committed   The Torah teaches us about an amazing opportunity Hashem gives us. Though we disrespectfully wronged Him, our Creator and the One who gives us everything we have, he allows...

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Shavuot – A Culmination

Shavuot is a holiday of completion. The completion of seven weeks of counting, with excitement growing by the day until the reception of the Torah. The final seal on our birth as a nation. With so much going on in the slow whirlwind that has become our lives, we...

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Parashat Behar – Bechukotai – Torah Study

אִם בְּחֻקֹּתַי תֵּלֵכוּ וְאֶת מִצְוֺתַי תִּשְׁמְרוּ If you follow My laws and observe My commandments   Rashi points out that the second part of the statement, “observe My commandments” is clearly referring to our obligation to keep the mitzvot. Therefore, he...

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Parashat Emor – To Be A Kiddush Hashem

וְנִקְדַּשְׁתִּי בְּתוֹךְ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל I shall be sanctified amidst the B’nei Yisrael   History flies by at a dizzying pace. What was the norm at some points in history is extraordinary at others. We are now in a time where for all the distancing that’s...

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Parashat Acharei Mot – Kedoshim – A Guide To Rebuke

...הוֹכֵחַ תּוֹכִיחַ אֶת עֲמִיתֶךָ You shall surely rebuke your fellow…   The Torah here teaches us that we should be ready to rebuke others when necessary. This can be very uncomfortable, but we are nonetheless here to make the world a better place. Seemingly quite...

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Parashat Metzora – Each According To His Ability

…וְאִם דַּל הוּא וְאֵין יָדוֹ מַשֶּׂגֶת But if he is poor and cannot afford [these sacrifices]…   The Asham sacrifice brought by one who had tzara’at had an interesting caveat. If he couldn’t afford the standard animal sacrifice, he was allowed to bring a cheaper one...

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