Rosh Hashana: The Extent of Hashem’s Mercy

The storyline The Story of Bila’am, the gentile prophet, is most peculiar. It begins when Balak, the king of Moav, recognizes that he is in danger. The Jewish nation had just destroyed Sichon, and Moav was next. Out of desperation, Balak sent messengers to Bila’am, saying, “Please, curse this nation so that we can remain in our land.” Bila’am was more than willing to curse the Jews — he hated them more than Balak did,…






Devarim – Man: Preprogrammed for Greatness

Before the makkah (disease) Hashem prepares the refuah (cure). Within last week’s haftarah warning us about the impending doom, we find a message of hope and salvation. “The ox knows its owner; the donkey the stall of its master; Yisrael doesn’t know, My nation doesn’t contemplate.” – Yeshaya 1:3 Yeshaya HaNavi began the rebuke of his nation with these words.. Rashi explains what he was saying. The ox doesn’t change its nature. It doesn’t say,…






Yom Kippur

THE SIN OF THE GOLDEN CALF With the entire Nation gathered at the foot of Har Sinai, Moshe Rabbeinu went up to receive the Torah. When he came down forty days later, the Jewish People were in a very different state than when he had left them. Through the influence of the mixed multitude, they were engaged in a form of idol worship. While it’s true that the vast majority of the people didn’t actively…






Devarim – Are We Teaching Yiras Shamayim?

The Ran explains that during the times of first Bais Ha’Mikdash, the Jews were constantly learning Torah. For that reason, no one could understand why we were exiled. HASHEM, Who knows man’s heart, explained, “Yes, they were learning, but Torah wasn’t precious to them. They didn’t view it as a mitzvah, but rather as any academic subject.” This is what Rav Yehudah means by saying that they didn’t make a blessing before they learned. This…






Shavuos – The Giving of the Torah- The Ultimate System of Self Perfection

The Even Ezra explains that people are perplexed by this mitzvah. How is it possible not to desire that which I find beautiful? The Torah can forbid actions or of speech, because I can to control my behaviors.  But desires dwells deep within a person. They are a function of the inner condition. I didn’t ask for them, but they are here. How can the Torah command me not to want? The Even Ezra answers…






Shavuos- A Craving to See HASHEM

The moment in history The entire nation – every man, woman and child – was gathered at the foot of Har Sinai for what was to be the greatest revelation in the annals of history. HASHEM’s voice was about to be heard. In addition to the transmission of the Torah, the event would forever carve into human awareness the understanding that HASHEM is the Creator. Never before or since has a generation reached that level…






Beshalach: The Merit of Trusting HASHEM

After months of witnessing the hand of HASHEM, the entire Jewish nation — three million strong — marched out from slavery to freedom with flourish and fanfare. Escorted by clouds of glory, walking through a desert made smooth by overt miracles, they travelled as one. It seemed that the troubles of the Jewish people were finally behind them, and they were being escorted to their final redemption . . . until the clouds directed them…






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