Parshot Acharay-Kedoshim

(Leviticus: 16:1-20:27) /  (Pirkay Avot: Chapter 3) (Sfirat Ha’omer) [19:2] “…be holy because I, God, your Lord, am holy”. The Ramban (1194-1270, Spain) tells us that one can keep all the other commandments of the Torah and still not be … Continue reading

Parshat Shmini

(Leviticus: 9:1- 11:47) / (Haftara: Machar Chodesh: Shmuel I, 20 :18-42) (Sfirat Haomer) / (Pirkay Avot: Chapter 1) [10:10] “To distinguish between the holy and the profane, and between the impure and the pure.” We are commanded to make precise distinctions … Continue reading

Chol Hamoed Pesach

(Shmot 33:12-34:26) (Ezekiel 37:1-14) (Sfirat Haomer) [Shmot 33:20-23]: “…you are not able to see my face…and you will see my back…” This is obviously a metaphor, since God does not have a body. What does it mean to see God’s … Continue reading


Haggadah [Haggadah of Pesach] The passage in the haggadah about the 4 sons teaches us that each son should be taught in a way which is suitable to his understanding. This is a model of Jewish education, as it says … Continue reading

Parshat Vayikra   

(Leviticus: 1:1-5:26)      (Haftara: Yechezkel 45:16) (Shabbat HaChodesh) (Shabbat Rosh Chodesh) [1:2] “…when a man brings an offering to God…” The root of the word for sacrifice—”korban” means coming close. How would animal sacrifices make the person who brings them come … Continue reading

Parshat Vayakhel-Pekuday

(Exodus: 35:1-40:38) Parshat Para [Parsha] These 2 parshiot are unusual because they are mainly a repetition of Trumah and Tzaveh. The commentaries tell us that in Trumah and Tzaveh the commandments were given and in these parshiot the commandments were … Continue reading

Parshat Ki Tissa

(Shmot 30:11-34:35) (Haftara: Kings I [Melachim I] 18, 1-39) (Purim) [31:2] “Look, I have called by name Betzalel ben Uri…” Betzalel is called by name, and  Moshe is also called by name [33:12]. What does it mean to be called … Continue reading

Parshat Tetzaveh

(Exodus: 27:21- 30-10) (Shmuel I, 15:1-34) (Parshat Zachor, Fast of Esther, Purim) [27:20 ] “And you will command the children of Israel and they will take for you pure olive oil…” The language of this pasuk is very strong in … Continue reading

Parshat Trumah

(Numbers 25:1-27:20) (Kings I,  5:26-6:13) [25:8] “…and I will live among them.” How does a central place of holiness cause God to dwell “among” or “between” the people? What does it mean to “dwell among” the people? [25:15] What is … Continue reading

Parshat Mishpatim

(Numbers 21:1-24:18) (Haftara: Jeremiah 34:8-22, 33:25,26) [21:37] “…(the thief) will pay 5 cows for stealing a cow, and 4 sheep for stealing sheep.” The midrash says that God has mercy on a sheep thief because, unlike the cow thief, he … Continue reading