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Parshat Shavua

News and updates about Parshat Shavua

Talking Parsha - Mishpatim: Was it really 'na'aseh' & then 'nshma?'

We are told the Jews said, 'We will do & we will listen' - but they said that after hearing it 3x! How is that 'doing' before 'listening?'

Mishpatim - Was it really na'aseh & then nishma?player

Mishpatim: The little guy

The Chasidic masters would often remind us that we are each critical to G-d.

Mishpatim: Feeling like the little guy

Healing the heart of darkness

If knowledge, emotion, and reason lead us to be moral, why is it that humans hate, harm and kill?

Healing the heart of darkness

Weekly Torah Study: Yitro

Are we commanded to believe in Hashem, or is it a function of our free will?

Weekly Torah Study: Yitro

Honoring parents

The reward for honoring one’s parents holds only in Eretz Yisrael; it is not the individual’s length of days, but that of the entire nation.

Honoring parents

The parsha and current events: Humanity is presently perched on a seam of history

Humanity today awaits to see what is next. Nuclear war? Decimation through viral infection? Economic disaster? Racial and religious wars?

Humanity is presently perched on a seam of history

Yitro: The best entry points to greater Jewish engagement

What is the best entry point through which more people can engage better with their Judaism?

Yitro: The best entry points to greater Jewish engagement

Yitro: One Heart

One people one heart, or one heart one people? They are not the same but we do not have to be the same to be one people with one heart..

Yitro: One Heart

They saw the thunder

If anyone had asked the Israelites to articulate what took place they would not have been able to give a straight answer.

They saw the thunder

Beshalach: Innate and acquired holiness

“Until Your people have crossed, O God; until the people that You acquired have crossed over.”- why is the crossing mentioned twice?

Beshalach: Innate and acquired holiness

Talking Parsha - Beshalach: Miriam and the bittersweet lesson

What does the fact that the Jews ran out of water have to do with the promise that they will not suffer the punishments brought upon Egypt?

Beshalach: Miriam and the bittersweet lessonplayer

Az Yashir: Song touches the eternal

Some say that prayer is not fully prayer until it contains that ineffable spark that only true song brings to it.

Az Yashir: Song touches the eternal

Weekly Torah Study: Beshalach

Complaints, complaints. When will they ever learn?

Weekly Torah Study: Beshalach

Birth and rebirth in the Book of Shmot

Paralleling our national birth and rebirth is the birth and rebirth of Moses.

Birth and rebirth in the Book of Shmotplayer

'When Pharaoh had let the people go” – or did he?

There seems to be a mixed message coming from Pharaoh and the Egyptians about letting the Israelites go.

'When Pharaoh had let the people go” – or did he?

Cloud by day, fire by night

The Israelites were protected as they fled Egypt. Was this a message for the future as well?

Cloud by day, fire by night

The Parsha and Current Events: Who knows five?

When our “backs were to the wall” (“to the sea wall”), Hashem said “Stop praying and be pro-active ...”. That holds for today as well.

The Parsha and Current Events: Who knows five?

Weekly Torah Study: Bo

What is so terrible about darkness? It happens every evening.

Weekly Torah Study: Bo

Bo: The slave to the compass has freedom of the seas

T"he slave to the compass has the freedom of the seas." How can we harness the power of this statement to find our own freedom?

Bo: The slave to the compass has freedom of the seas

'Come to Pharaoh for I have hardened his heart'

The Beit Halevi, the Yismach Moshe, the Dubner Maggid and Rav Moishe Mendel of Vilan grapple with the reason G-d hardened Pharaoh's heart.

'Come to Pharaoh for I have hardened his heart'

Parshat Bo: Why Jewish Holidays are celebrated differently In Israel & the Diaspora

Baruch Gordon provides insights into this week's Torah reading "Bo".

Parshat Bo: Why Hagim are celebrated differently In Israelplayer

Va'eira: God's Name

Israel's first chief rabbi, Torah luminary and iconic leader of Religious Zionism: The Names of G-d are connected to living in Eretz Yisrael

Va'eira: God's Name

Vaera: Transmitting a legacy

Parshat Va’era (Exodus 6:2-9:35): The vast difference between inheritance and heritage.

Vaera: Transmitting a legacy

Talking Parsha - Va'era: Moses can't speak?!

Why so is there so much emphasis on speaking to Pharaoh and on who will speak to Pharaoh, if no one is going to listen anyways?

Talking Parsha - Va'era: Moses can't speak?!player

Do we double down like Pharaoh when we are wrong?

The Steipler Gaon teaches that our denial does not result from ignorance, but is the result of a lack of will. Not so Pharaoh.

Do we double down like Pharaoh when we are wrong?

Vaera: Realize your worst fears

There is another, and much more profound, meaning to the words 'realize your worst fears' than the obvious one.

Vaera: Realize your worst fears

Getting to know you...

What is the antidote to polarization? Pharaoh and Joseph are a case in point.

Getting to know you...

Entering Eternity

The Name told to Moses to describe Hashem is cryptic, implies the unknown, the Unknowable and the Eternal, God's Name of the future.

Entering Eternity

Weekly Torah Study: Shemot

The unaccountable occurrences in our lives do have explanations.

Weekly Torah Study: Shemot

Shemot: What is it about crying out?

The Book of Exodus is a guidebook. What does it teach about bringing redemption - from everything that needs change?

Shemot: What is it about crying out?

Who performed Bris Milah on Moshe’s son?

Can there possibly be anyone who says that a woman is not fit to perform circumcision if the Torah describes Zipporah doing so?

Who performed Bris Milah on Moshe’s son?

Shemot: On not obeying immoral orders

This parasha has the first recorded instance in history of civil disobedience.

Shemot: On not obeying immoral orders

Talking Parsha - Vayechi: Is Yosef our 4th Forefather?

From the verses in this week's Torah portion, it would seem that Yosef is considered one of the forefathers. So why is he not on the list?

Talking Parsha - Vayechi: Is Yosef our 4th Forefather?player

What is your greatest blessing?

You might think it is the greatest blessing if your children are blessed, but there is a step beyond that.

What is your greatest blessing?

When can we lie?

Truth and peace are both values, but which do we choose when they conflict? Not everyone among the rabbinic Sages agreed.

When can we lie?

A preview of Mashiach

The blessing for the Tribe of Dan, the unifying tribe, has all the prerequisites for the Redemption.

A preview of Mashiach

A blip on the radar screen

Our father Jacob looks forward to the future, knowing the present, as earthshaking as it may seem, is only a blip on history's radar screen.

A blip on the radar screen

Finding courage

The Torah Portion of VAYIGASH Genesis 44:18–47:27: The ability to acknowledger mistakes is a powerful but rarely found tool of spirituality.

Finding courage

Talking Parsha - Vayigash: The brothers didn't sell Yosef to Egypt?

Why does Yosef remind his brothers twice that they sold him to Egypt? And why does he tell them they didn't send him to Egypt, only G-d did?

Talking Parsha - Vayigash: The brothers didn't sell Yosef?player

Jacob's fear of exile

Jacob's fears were justified. One need only look at the last fifty years of American Jewish history to appreciate the dangers of galut!

Jacob's fear of exile