Rabbi David Etengoff
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Our parasha, Shoftim, contains the celebrated verse, “Justice, justice shall you pursue, [in order] that you may live and possess the land the L-rd, your G-d, is giving you.” (Devarim … more
Parashat Bechukotai presents shalom as one of the greatest rewards that we will receive when we live lives dedicated to Hashem’s holy Torah: “And I will grant peace in the Land, and … more
The Tanach contains a number of instances when Hashem calls to individuals and repeats their name within the same verse. For example, just before G-d commands Avraham not to offer Yitzchak upon the … more
Sefer Vayikra begins with a call from G-d to Moshe: “G-d called to Moses, speaking to him from the Communion Tent.” In a celebrated gloss, Rashi, basing himself upon Midrash Rabbah, … more
Our holy Torah is composed of both halachic (legal) and narrative portions. While there is usually nearly universal consensus that a particular law exists, halachic passages are often the focus of diverse interpretations regarding their pragmatic application. Thus, an entire genre of Jewish literature has arisen whose sole purpose is to determine the practical ramifications of both Torah and Rabbinic laws. In many ways, the creation of this unique and dynamic body of literature has continued unabated since, at the moment of the Sinaitic Revelation, our forebears declared “Naaseh v’nishmah” (“We will do and we will accept,” Sefer Shemot 24:7). more
Like the Shoah, Tisha B’Av brings us face to face with the problem of evil: “If G-d is truly good, why does He allow evil to exist?” In his essay Sacred and Profane, Kodesh … more
The Torah employs the phrase, “Ki tetze l’milchamah al oivecha” (“When you go forth to war against your enemy”) two times in Devarim. The first instance appears in our … more
This week’s parasha, Vayigash, concludes with the pasuk: “And Israel dwelt (vayeshev) in the land of Egypt in the land of Goshen, and they acquired property in it, and they were prolific … more
Korach and his fellow rebels wer e miraculously punished for their sinful rebellion against Moshe: “And the earth opened her mouth and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the men … more
There are two times in Sefer Bereishit when we encounter the phrase, “Va’ye’he acharei hadevarim ha’aleh” (“And it came to pass after these matters”), toward … more
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