B"H Thursday, 24 Sivan 5779 | June 27 2019
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 Parshas Behaaloscho 
This week we find the only statement in the Torah describing Moses' personality.

"The man Moses was more humble than anyone on the face of the earth" (12:3)

At first glance this is completely not understood.

Moses was probably the greatest leader and certainly the greatest prophet in history. He demonstrated the ultimate in bravery, patience, wisdom, holiness, compassion and much more… why does the Torah praise only his humility? Continue

 Parshas Behar 

This week's Torah portion contains 14 commandments and one of them is the prohibition of taking (or giving) interest on a loan. (25:36,37)

In fact this sin is so severe that the Torah follows it with the words; "I am G-d that took you from Egypt to be your G-d" to tell you that anyone who takes interest denies that G-d took the Jews from Egypt!

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 Parshas Emor 

This week's Torah portion contains the unusual commandment of 'Sfirat haOmer: 'Counting the 49 days between Passover and Shavuot'

It's one of the easiest commandments in the Good Book.

All you have to do is make a blessing (Blessed are you G-d ……who commanded us to count the Omer) and then count the day: ("Today is such-and-such days of the Omer).

But as simple as it is … it contains deep personal meaning. Each of the 49 days corresponds to another aspect of human nature which, according to mystical Judaism, also adds up to 49.

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 Parshas Kedoshim 

In this week's Torah portion we find perhaps the most important commandment in the Book: Love your neighbor as yourself (19:18).

One of the holiest and wisest scholars of all time, Rabbi Akiva, said that this is the main principle of the Torah. And the holy book 'Tanya' written by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi explains why (chapter 32).

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 Parshas Tazria 

This Shabbat we read the Torah portion called 'Tazria' which deals mostly with the laws of Tzoraat; a Torah impurity disease caused by sins.

And this coming week we begin the month of Nissan, the first Month of the Jewish calendar when G-d took the Jews from Egypt over 3300 years ago.

The Jewish people are called the 'Chosen' people. That is why G-d took them from Egypt. But it's not so clear what they were chosen for.

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 Parshas Shemini 
This week's Torah reading is called 'Shemini' ("Eight"), referring to the Eighth and final day of the inauguration of the 'Tabernacle' in the Desert.

The Tabernacle was a quite remarkable and unique detail of Judaism. It was a large, portable 'Temple' made mostly of wood and tapestries containing; a large animal-sacrifice altar, a smaller incense altar, a seven stem candelabra, a 'Holy of Holies' room with the Tablets that Moses got on Mt. Sinai and more.

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 Parshas Tzav and Purim 
This week's Torah portion continues the laws of the Temple sacrifices and is preceded by the holiday of Purim. Both represent happiness: Jews would to rejoice three times a year in the Holiday Temple Sacrifices and Purim is a happy holiday.

But it is a bit difficult to understand why.

First of all, they are antiquated: the last time sacrifices were made was some 2,000 years ago and the story of Purim occurred over 400 years before that!

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 Parshas Vayikra 
If you look in a Torah scroll you will see that the first word in this week's section ends with a small letter "VAYIKRa" (G-d CALLED).

That's the way it's supposed to be written.

This does not seem to make sense. This small letter changes neither the meaning nor the pronunciation of the word. Why is it small?

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 Parsha Pekudei 
In this week's Torah portion we read how the Jews put the finishing details on the Tabernacle (Mishkan) that G-d commanded them to build in the desert.

This edifice was of the utmost importance to Judaism: besides being the prototype for the ensuing three Holy Temples in which the Creator was revealed in the world (the last of which will be in the days of the Messiah) it is also the prototype for serving G-d; every Jew is enjoined to make him/herself into a Holy Temple.

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 Parshas Vayakhel 
This Shabbat is the last one this month, Adar Alef introducing and 'blessing' the next month; Adar Beis. And this week's Torah portion begins with the words "VaYakhel Moshe"; "Moses Gathered" (all the Jews).

'Torah' means 'teaching". The Torah is G-d's blueprint and instruction manual for every detail of His Creation and if interpreted properly it brings love, enthusiasm and joy in every detail of our lives.

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 Parshas Ki Tisa 

This week's Torah portion begins with the commandment of giving a 'Half Shekel' coin to the Holy Temple. And afterward it describes the sin of the Golden Calf.

The Golden Calf sin was the most disastrous transgression of all time; it's the only reason that people die today.

Strange but true! When G-d gave the Torah at Mount Sinai He revealed His essence i.e. the eternal essence of all being and life. And death ceased to exist! (As it was supposed to be before Adam sinned!).

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 Parshas Tetzaveh 
In this week's Torah portion are eight commandments all of them relating to the Holy Temple. Two of them are lighting the Menorah and burning the incense.
Both were done once a day in the inner sanctum and both were replete with meaning and mystery.

And although we Jews haven't had the Temple for almost two thousand years these commandments are very vital to us:

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 Parshas Mishpatim 
In this week's Torah portion we find 53 commandments and one of them is to loan money, without interest of course, or at least to give charity (which is less honorable) to poor Jews.

But at first glance this is not understood. G-d is infinitely good, possesses all the money and we Jews are His people. So how can there be poor Jews?

We can't say it is so some people can fulfill the commandment of charity. G-d is kind, He wouldn't make the poor suffer just for the benefit of others?

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 Parshas Yisro 
This week’s portion is named after one of the most active idolaters ever (see Rashi on 18:11) and in it we learn about the most important and fantastic event of all time; the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai.

It is important because for the first and only time in history G-d actually spoke “face to face” (Deut. 5:4) to an entire nation; millions of eye witnesses, and officially revealed the meaning of life and the purpose of Creation.

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 Parshas Beshalach 
This week we learn about two awesome battles. The first and most famous was G-d versus the Egyptians at Yam Suf (Reed Sea). And the second, found at the end of this week's Torah portion, was between the Jews and Amelek.

At first glance it is not so clear why G-d did not fight both battles; after all the Jews are His people. Why did he leave them to fight the second one on their own? If they lost (G-d forbid) then the entire story of the Exodus would have been for naught!!

Why didn't G-d just decimate Amelek?

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 Parshas Bo 
This week we read of how, just before He took the Jews from Egypt, G-d told Moses to order the Jews to circumcise themselves, sacrifice a lamb (or a goat), put the blood of the sacrifice on the insides of their doorposts, then roast the meat and finally eat it.

If this seems strange, it is. And the reason for it is even stranger:

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