Rabbi Avi Billet
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What significant moment from Jewish history is celebrated on Shavuot? The giving of the Torah, right? Wrong. Unlike other holidays such as Pesach and Sukkot, the Torah does not assign a … more
Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan z”l divided his Chumash translation, “The Living Torah,” by topics, in addition to the standard divisions by chapter and parsha. For verses 25:35-38, in this … more
The opening instruction in Parsha Emor — And G-d said to Moshe, “Say to the Kohanim, the sons of Aharon, and say to them, they should not become ‘tameh’ to people of the … more
Media pundits and missionaries are famous for taking quotations out of context. Before judging any statement you read or hear, it is important to know in what context it was expressed. Was the … more
The primary topic of our double parsha, Tazria-Metzora, focuses on the affliction of tzara’at, its diagnosis and prognosis. The attention is primarily on the kohen, who is given detailed … more
The King of Egypt discovers that the woman he brought into his chambers is married to Avraham. “What have you done to me?” he demands of Avraham. “Why didn’t you tell … more
Reading the story of the dispersion at the beginning of chapter 11, it is hard to see where the people went wrong. In the words of Targum Yonatan, they … more
Chava bears two children, Kayin (Cain) and Hevel, and each takes on a profession. Time passes, Kayin brings an offering to G-d, and Hevel follows suit. Then the Torah describes these … more
Arguably the most enigmatic of the names of Rosh Hashana is Yom Hazikaron. What is being remembered and who is remembering? When we read through the selichot, particularly those of the Aseret … more
Other than former current events, nothing dates a Jewish book more than when discussing or quoting a deceased great rabbi with “Rabbi So and So, Shlit’a, says…” The … more
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