Torah Columns
892 results total, viewing 751 - 760
In the listing of ingredients for the proper pursuit of holiness, the Torah puts reverence of one's parents and the observance of the Sabbath at the fore front, on just about an equal footing. more
Aharon's sons died three parshas ago, in Parshat Sh'mini, and nary a word has been said about them. Acharei Mot opens mentioning their deaths, picking up exactly where the Torah took a break in its narrative to discuss other things. Is there any significance to a multi-chapter tangent from the regular narrative of the Torah? Not unless the Torah doesn't view the tangent as a disruption of the narrative. more
Our 21st century minds may find the purification process of the metzora unsettling. "Take two live birds, cedar wood, scarlet and hyssop. Have one bird killed in an earthen vessel over running water. Dip the remaining items (including the other live bird) in the blood of the first bird. Sprinkle the mixture on the one being purified, then let the live bird go free." (14:4-7) more
Rabbi Yerachmiel Yisrael Yitzchak of Alexander, Poland explained the following rabbinic passage in a most creative and instructive manner. The rabbis taught, “[Tzara’at] blemishes come upon a person on account of the sin of lashon hara” (Erachin 15b and other places). The rabbi of Alexander explained that those who speak Lashon Hara are often altruistic in intent. more
What brought about the deaths of Aharon’s older sons? Most discussions analyze the specific nature of the particular service they were performing. Were they drunk? Were they wearing the proper clothing? Did they enter an area prohibited to them? Did they perform a service reserved for their father alone? Did they merely bring a strange fire? more
The book and parsha of Vayikra contain the specific essentials with regard to the laws and practices of the korbanot, the sacrificial offerings. And although we do not bring korbanot without a Holy Temple in Jerusalem, the Torah views the bringing of korbanot as an important ingredient in one’s lifelong goal of getting close to G-d. more
Shortly before Thanksgiving, a video entitled “Yeshiva Guy Says Over a Vort” was posted on YouTube and made its rounds through many of our emails. In it, two animated bears discuss a Torah thought related to the traditional interpretation that the forefathers kept the commandments of the Torah before Sinaitic revelation. The darker bear begins the conversation saying, “Can I say over a vort that I heard by my rebbe’s house last shabbos?” more
Open up a chumash with Rashi on this parsha, and the first thing you notice is… no Rashi. You can count on your hand the number of comments Rashi provides on chapters 36 and 37; after all, he’s already commented on these topics in parshat Terumah, chapters 25 and 26. more
Mendele Mokher Seforim, the nineteenth century Yiddish writer, famously wrote, “Among Jews, a birthday is no holiday. But the anniversary of a death; that a Jew remembers.” Last Friday’s (2/11) Hebrew date was the 7th of Adar I, the date of the death of Moshe Rabbeinu, as well as the date of his birth. (Kiddushin 38a) more
With the abundance of storms that have everybody talking about the weather, one wonders how much the global warming camp can convince their opponents that "we" control the weather. Record snowfalls across the country seem to indicate to me that G-d, and not Hummers or Styrofoam cups, is still in charge. more
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