Parshat Ve’etchanan

(Deuteronomy  3:23-7:11) (Haftara: Shabbat Nachamu: Isaiah 40:1-26) (Pirkay Avot, Chapter 4 ) 1. [4:7] “…listen to the laws and judgments…so you can live and come and inherit the land…” The mission of the Jews is mainly publicizing one universal God, … Continue reading

Parshat Devarim

(Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22) (Haftara: Shabbat Chazon: Isaiah 1:1-27)  (Pirkay Avot: Chapter 3) [1:13] “Get men who are wise, understanding and knowledgeable…” The first commandment that Moshe recalled is the appointment of judges and the necessity for justice, honesty and integrity. While … Continue reading

Parshat Mattot-Masay

(Numbers: 30:2-36:13) (Haftara: Jeremiah 2:4-28, 3:4, 4:1,2) (Pirkay Avot 2) [Haftara: Jeremiah , 3:4, 4:1,2] : If a haftara ends with a negative statement, then positive psukim are added. That is the purpose of the last psukim in this haftara. … Continue reading

Parshat Pinchas

(Numbers: 25:10-30:1) (Haftara: Melachim I, 18:46-19:21) [25:12] “Therefore I am giving him my covenant of peace.” The Talmud Yerushalmi tells us after Pinchas killed Zimri and Kozbi and stopped the plague, the chachamim wanted to excommunicate him. However, when they … Continue reading

Parshat Chukat

(Numbers: 19:1- 22:2)       (Shoftim 11:1-33)     (Pirkay Avot 5) [20:1] “And Miriam died there…” In relation to Miriam’s death, the Talmud tells us that “the death of the righteous brings purification from sin.” How can we understand this in a natural, … Continue reading

Parshat Korach

(Numbers: 16:1-18:32) (Haftara: Shmuel I, 11:14-12:22) (Pirkay Avot Chapter 4) [16:3] “All the people in the community are holy…”  Rashi explains that “all the people” is referring to the whole nation, and this is the most common understanding of the … Continue reading

Parshat Shlach-Lecha

(Numbers: 13:1-15:41) (Haftara: Yehoshua 2, 1-24) (Pirkay Avot 3) [13:27, 28] Our tradition looks upon the spies as the ultimate traitors. What was so bad about the spies’ message to the Israelites? [13:30] “And Caleb stilled the people”. Rashi says … Continue reading

Parshat Beha’alotcha

(Numbers: 8:1-12:16) (Haftara: Zecharia 2:14-4:7) (Pirkay Avot, chapter 2) [9:7] “And those men [who were impure and couldn’t do the first Pesach] said to him, “We are impure…’ “. Whoever is ritually impure or too far away and can’t eat … Continue reading

Parshat Naso

(Numbers: 4:21-7:89) (Haftara: Judges 13:2-25) (Pirkay Avot:Chapter 6) (Sfirat Haomer) [5:14] “…and a spirit of jealousy comes on him…” When a husband suspects his wife of being unfaithful, she drinks something which tests her faithfulness.  One would think that there … Continue reading

Parshat Bamidbar

(Numbers 1:1-4:20) (Haftara: Hosea 2, 1-22) (Pirkay Avot Chapter 6) (Sfirat Ha’omer) (Rosh Chodesh) [1:2]  “Count the community of the children of Israel…”  The Hebrew phrase used here for counting people or taking a census means “lifting up the head”.  … Continue reading