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Weekly Divrei Torah on the Parasha | Holidays | Chagim

Parashat Mishpatim – Torah’s Representatives

…וְאֵלֶּה הַמִּשְׁפָּטִים אֲשֶׁר תָּשִׂים לִפְנֵיהֶם And these are the laws that you shall set before them…   Rashi points out that by beginning with the word “and” we see that this is a continuation of the previous Parashah which ended with the ten commandments and...

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Parashat Yitro – Just Visiting

שֵׁם הָאֶחָד גֵּרְשֹׁם כִּי אָמַר גֵּר הָיִיתִי בְּאֶרֶץ נָכְרִיָּה וְשֵׁם הָאֶחָד אֱלִיעֶזֶר כִּי אֱ-לֹהֵי אָבִי בְּעֶזְרִי וַיַּצִּלֵנִי מֵחֶרֶב פַּרְעֹה [Moshe] named the first one Gershom, for he said “I am a stranger in a foreign land.” The name of the other was...

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Parashat Beshalach – Habit Forming

…אָז יָשִׁיר מֹשֶׁה וּבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל Then Moshe and the B’nei Yisrael sang…   When one develops a habit that they don’t like, it can be very difficult to reverse. It becomes second nature to us, and we do it even without thinking. One must try to actively go against...

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Parashat Bo – Free Will

כִּי אֲנִי הִכְבַּדְתִּי אֶת לִבּוֹ for I have hardened his heart   Pharaoh was in middle of committing some of the worst crimes against the Jews in history. Hashem repeatedly sent Moshe to tell him to release the Jews, and to warn of impending plagues if he ignored...

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Parashat Vaera – Empathy

אֵלֶּה רָאשֵׁי בֵית אֲבֹתָם בְּנֵי רְאוּבֵן These are the heads of their fathers’ houses: The sons of Reuven…   The Torah goes through the families of the Jewish Nation. The Shelah points out an interesting point here. When introducing the tribes of Reuven and Shimon,...

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Parashat Shemot – Ha! That’s what You Think

וַיֵּלֶךְ אִישׁ מִבֵּית לֵוִי וַיִּקַּח אֶת בַּת לֵוִי A man from the tribe of Levi went and married a daughter of Levi   The Gemara explains what happened here. Amram was a leader of the generation. When Pharaoh decreed that all Jewish boys be thrown in the Nile...

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Parashat Vayechi – Never Lose Sight Of Your Goals

…יִשָּׂשכָר חֲמֹר גָּרֶם Yissachar is a bony donkey…   Yaakov was nearing death. He called his sons over and proceeded to bless them all, each according to his outstanding trait. Yissachar was a talmid chacham. Rashi explains Yaakov’s words as follows: Yissachar is...

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Parashat Vayigash – Love For Another

וַיִּפֹּל עַל צַוְּארֵי בִנְיָמִן אָחִיו וַיֵּבְךְּ וּבִנְיָמִן בָּכָה עַל צַוָּארָיו And he fell on his brother Binyamin’s neck and wept, and Binyamin wept on his neck.   After many years of separation, the brothers were finally reunited. As one might expect, in this...

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Parashat Miketz – Working In Vain

וַיְהִי מִקֵּץ שְׁנָתַיִם יָמִים וּפַרְעֹה חֹלֵם It came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh was dreaming     We sometimes, if not often, go through various troubles and seek ways out of them. What we too often ignore is that the result is already...

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סביבון

What is the Dreidel? What is the purpose of it? A regular game? Us Jews went through so many hardships in the last 2000 years and lost so much of our original culture. How can it be that one of the few things remaining is just a regular game? The meaning of the...

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Parashat Vayeshev – Hardships

וַיֵּשֶׁב יַעֲקֹב בְּאֶרֶץ מְגוּרֵי אָבִיו And Yaakov settled in the land his forefathers lived   After many years of various troubles, Yaakov Avinu, with a family now whole and no one after him, finally returns to his homeland. All he wanted to do was settle in...

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Parashat Vayishlach – Fear Of Sin

וַיִּירָא יַעֲקֹב מְאֹד וַיֵּצֶר לוֹ And Yaakov became very frightened and was distressed   Yaakov was nervous. Esav, his brother who had previously committed to murdering him, was advancing upon him with four hundred men in his command. Yaakov came up with a plan of...

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Parashat Vayetze – Distance Yourself From Dispute

וַיִּחַר לְיַעֲקֹב… וַיֹּאמֶר לְלָבָן מַה פִּשְׁעִי מַה חַטָּאתִי כִּי דָלַקְתָּ אַחֲרָי And Yaakov was frustrated… and he said to Lavan, “What is my transgression? What is my sin, that you have pursued me? Yaakov worked for Lavan for a long time. He started hearing...

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Parashat Toldot – Our Big Advantage

וְיַעֲקֹב אִישׁ תָּם יֹשֵׁב אֹהָלִים Yaakov was a pure man, who sat in tents. The Mishna in Pirkei Avot tells us that there are three “pillars” on which the world stands, Torah, avodah (sacrifices/prayer), and kind deeds. The merit of these three things are what keep...

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