Behar: Leaving Egypt

“I am the Lord your G-d, who took you out of the land of Egypt”. While we associate these words with the first of the aseret hadibrot, the words above are actually taken from this week’s parsha. “If your brother becomes impoverished...do not take from him interest…I am the Lord your G-d, who took you out of the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan, to be your G-d ” (Vayikra 25:38)....
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Pesach: Sunrise in Bnei Brak

This d’var Torah is sponsored in honour of the birth of Rachel Bracha Kelman. Mazal tov to Peninah and Maury and to the entire family. May they merit raising Rachel Bracha leTorah, Chupah and Ma'asim Tovim. “It happened that Rabbi Eliezer, Rabbi Yehoshua, Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah, Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Tarfon were reclining in B’nei Brak discussing the Exodus all night until their students arrived and...
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Kedoshim: Seeking Holiness

The line between greatness and failure is so small as to be unrecognizable, often revealing itself only after many years. This is true in the world of business, science, technology and the like, where the results of today's efforts can remain unknown for many years. It is equally true in the world of morality, where it is often most difficult to determine if a particular action is a great mitzvah or its opposite.One must be cognizant not only of...
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Shabbat Chol Hamoed: Worshipping Idols

It is hard to imagine a more impactful ritual than that of our weekly Torah reading. While its origins date to Moshe Rabbeinu—acting in his capacity as a rabbinic sage, not as prophet delivering G-d's message—and Ezra the scribe, it was not until the Middle Ages that our annual Torah reading cycle was firmly established. It is through the prism of the weekly Torah reading that Jewish life operates. I shudder to think what would happen to our...
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Acharei-Mot: Our Own Way

“Do not follow the ways of Egypt, where you once lived” (18:2). The Jewish people's formative years were those we spent in the land of Egypt, something for which we are to be eternally grateful. “Do not despise the Egyptian, since you were an immigrant in his land” (Devarim 23:8). Unlike the nations of Amon and Moav, whose [male] progeny are forever barred from joining the Jewish faith, the “children of the third generation [of Egyptians] may...
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