moshe rabbeinu

Re'eh: Do You Love Me?

How can you tell if somebody loves you? We all understand that words alone are hollow, and that it is actions that count. Even so, it is not always easy to understand the actions of others. Misreading one's intentions in this sensitive area can have disastrous consequences. Imputing noble motives where none exist is no less dangerous than falsely accusing someone of nefarious intentions. While the latter is liable to lead to tensions, the former can lead to death. Testing someone's love trying to snare someone seems a little immature and can be dangerous.

Yoma 70: Don't Waste My Time

Torah reading as we know it today is a rabbinic innovation, beginning with Moshe Rabbeinu who--in his rabbinic role (as opposed to his role as transmitter of the Divine Torah)--ordained that we must read the Torah on Shabbat, Mondays, and Thursdays. Ezra--who, the Talmud declares, was worthy to have the Torah given through him, but Moshe beat him to it (Sanhedrin 21b)--added the requirement to read it on Shabbat afternoons, and added the system of aliyot we have today (Bava Kama 82a).

V'zot HaBracha: Four Giants

“And Moshe was one hundred and twenty years when he died” (Devarim 34:7). It is a beautiful, if somewhat unrealistic, custom to offer blessings to those celebrating a birthday that they should live to be 120. While this quantity of life is (usually) unrealistic, the blessing to live to 120 relates not only to quantity, but to the quality of life; “his eyesight did not diminish and his strength did not wane” (ibid). 

Chukat: Second Chances

This week's dvar Torah is sponsored by Golda Brown and Harry Krakowsky in memory of their dear son, Moshe Chanoch, obm. The law of the red heifer serves as the break between two separate but similar narratives: those relating to the generation that left Egypt, and those relating to the generation that was about to enter the land of Israel. A cursory read of the Torah can easily lead one to think that we are reading not two different stories, but the same story told over again, akin to the narratives in Sefer Devarim.
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