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Rabbi Asher Brander

Rabbi Asher Brander

Rabbi Asher Brander is Rabbi of the Westwood Kehilla, Founder/Dean of the LINK (Los Angeles INtercommunity) Kollel, and has been a long time High School Rebbe.

Tetzaveh: Wedding Clothes

February 25, 2010, by

In sunny California, where almost all work climates have shed the suit, (unless you go to court) and almost every day is casual Friday, the majesty and formality of garb is fast becoming a relic of yesteryear. In Tetzaveh however, the parsha of priestly garb, one enters a whole different world. Among the Kohen Gadol’s

Terumah: Holiness, a Voluntary Imperative

February 16, 2010, by

The mishkan [Sanctuary] section of the Torah might delight the designers or fascinate the architects, but for the dimensionally-challenged or the spatially uninspired who dwell in our midst, this part of Torah challenges one to mine meaning from painful and painstaking detail. Quite remarkably, for a Torah that mostly speaks in a spartan tongue, [that

Mishpatim: Our Greatest Moment

February 9, 2010, by

More than once, when I really need my friend’s help and “no” is simply not an option, I’ve asked for commitment before my request. The conversation might go like this: “Can I ask you a favor?” “Sure, what can I do for you?” “In a moment. First, just say yes.” Usually, they don’t say yes.

Yitro: A Parental Calling, A Child’s Obligation

February 3, 2010, by

A classic breakdown runs of the Aseret HaDibrot (Ten Commandments) distinguishes between 1-5 and 6-10. The first five are the man-God commandments and last five are the man-man commandments. Before we raise the obvious problem, take a quick glance at the list. 1. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the

Beshalach: Praise the Lord

January 27, 2010, by

Those who pray are quite familiar with the lines – we say them three times a day. In all likelihood that probably breeds some degree of ignorance/passive acceptance. And yet in those lines; more precisely, in two specific words, can be found a window into the great paradox of the particular aspect of prayer known

Bo: Clocking the Exile

January 21, 2010, by

How long were the Jews in Egypt? The Torah presents two versions: Version 1 [Shemos 12:40-42] The habitation of the B’nei Yisrael living in Egypt lasted four hundred and thirty years. It was at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, and on that very day all of Ad-noy’s multitudes went out of

Va’eira: Yes, We Can!

January 12, 2010, by

After an initial burst of Moshe’s positive message, Bnei Yisrael are bitterly disappointed with the results. Pharaoh increases their workload and makes their lives even more miserable. Hashem thus delivers via Moshe a second inspirational message of hope, memory and redemption; for good measure, He invokes five classical languages of redemption — terms that have

Shemot: G-d, who are You?

January 5, 2010, by

Moshe is an unwilling leader. Rather than campaigning for the position, he argues the counter. In the end, he loses his argument with God (a fairly predictable conclusion) and emerges as our greatest leader in Jewish history, bringing a bedraggled and downwardly mobile people out of Egypt, forging them into a nation, facilitating Matan Torah,

Vayechi: A Real Blessing

December 30, 2009, by

Yaakov is going to die. The exile is to begin. Before he departs, he delivers parting blessings – at least that is what the text says [49:28]. All these are tribes of Israel, twelve [of them]; and this is what their father spoke to them and he blessed them. He blessed them each with his

Vayigash: A Reunion for the Ages

December 21, 2009, by

In a parsha of dramatic reunions, one that often falls beneath the radar, that of father and son, tantalizes with its ambiguity: Yosef harnessed his chariot, and went up to meet Israel his father, to Goshen; and he appeared before him, he fell on his neck, and he wept on his neck עוד od. [Bereishis,