Torah Columns
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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
The Torah is comprised primarily of laws and narrative. Let us take a quick scan of Parshat Terumah to see where it fits in the scheme of the rest of the Torah. According to the Sefer HaChinukh, … more
During one of the classes I teach on weeknights, our topic turned to the different kinds of love mentioned in the Torah. One insightful participant commented that if G-d tells us to look out for … more
In their fundamental theology, untainted by modern liberal thinking, the other major religions of the world claim that those who do not subscribe to their belief system have no share in the world to … more
Every time I hear a chillul Hashem story involving so-called religious Jews going to prison, I contemplate what the term “religious” means. I will not be one to say that people are perfect and … more
In the midst of the tumult surrounding the last of the plagues we are given our first dose of the mitzvot. The Israelites in Egypt were instructed to take what is commonly translated as a … more
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