Deuteronomy 30:3

May 2, 2014, by

The 14th bracha of Shemoneh Esrei is Binyan Yerushalayim, the rebuilding of Jerusalem. In this verse, G-d says that He will return the people from exile. The Talmud in Megillah (29a) explains that when God exiles the Jews, He also exiles the Shechinah (His Presence) to some degree. When the Jews return, He metaphorically comes […]

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Proverbs 24:17

May 2, 2014, by

The twelfth bracha of Shemoneh Esrei, Birkas HaMinim (against heretics) was composed by Shmuel HaKatan. He is also cited in Pirkei Avos (4:19) for this statement, that we should not take joy in the downfall of our enemies. The Bertinuro explains that even though this dictum is a verse in Mishlei (Proverbs), it is attributed […]

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Leviticus 26:3

May 2, 2014, by

We actually have One+Two today, because we need the first commentary in order to understand the second. Rashi cites the Sifra that “chukosai” (My statutes) refers to Torah study, while “mitzvosai” (My commandments) obviously means the mitzvos. With this in mind, the ibn Ezra tells us that it is a mitzvah to study Torah specifically […]

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Jeremiah 32:22

April 30, 2014, by

How exactly does a land flow with milk? The Metzudas David explains that the fields where the cattle graze are so fertile that the cows’ milk is abundant and flows from their udders.

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Leviticus 19:15

April 30, 2014, by

At the conclusion of the bracha of Din (justice), we call G-d “Melech oheiv tzedakah u’mishpat” – the King Who loves righteousness and judgment. Or does it mean “charity and judgment?”  Actually, it means both, as the two concepts are intertwined! For example, Rashi understands this verse to mean not only that we should judge […]

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Isaiah 35:10

April 30, 2014, by

The bracha of Din (justice) continues that restoring righteous leadership will take away our “sorrow and sighing,” a quote from this verse. Rashi explains the verse’s words “simchas olam” – typically translated as “everlasting joy” – to mean something else. He says it means the joy that the Jews experienced in bygone days, referring to […]

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Isaiah 1:26

April 30, 2014, by

The eleventh bracha of Shemoneh Esrei is called Din (justice). It references several verses, including this one from the Book of Isaiah. The ibn Ezra explains that the corrupt judges of King Achaz will be removed from office and replaced with honest judges by the righteous King Chizkiyahu; they will be upstanding judges “as at […]

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Leviticus 25: 17

April 30, 2014, by

The Hebrew word for G-d – “Elokim” – is plural in form. The two forms used in this verse – “Elokecha” and “Elokeichem” (“your G-d” and “the G-d of all of you,” respectively) reflect this plural form. While it should be obvious that the word is truly singular (after all, the verse does say “I […]

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Ezekiel 44:15

April 23, 2014, by

“Sons of Tzadok?” But everyone knows that the kohanim (priests) are the descendants of Aaron! Actually, Rashi explains that Tzadok was the High Priest when Solomon built the Temple. (Tzadok anointed Solomon way back in I Kings chapter 1.) Later High Priests were his descendants, which is why the kohanim are called by his name.

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Isaiah 11:12

April 23, 2014, by

This verse is likewise cited in Kibbutz Galuyos, the tenth bracha of Shemoneh Esrei, which addresses the ingathering of exiles. The Metzudas David explains the metaphor of raising a banner as follows: G-d will inspire the nations of the world to release their Jews from exile as if He waved a banner to signal such […]

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