Parshat Naso: Aristocracy in Jewish Society

Excerpted from Rabbi Dr. Norman J. Lamm’s Derashot Ledorot: A Commentary for the Ages – Numbers, co-published by OU Press and Maggid Books Aristocracy in Jewish Society* The quality and the character of a society can usually be measured by the kind of people it chooses to honor. A nation’s heroes are normally a good index […]

With Liberty and Justice: Day 45 – Ruth, A Love Story and an Allegory

Excerpted from With Liberty and Justice: The Fifty-Day Journey from Egypt to Sinai by Senator Joe Lieberman with Rabbi Ari D. Kahn, co-published by OU Press and Maggid Books Day 45 – Ruth, A Love Story and an Allegory Most Jewish communities read the Book of Ruth during morning services on Shavuot. A beautiful, romantic story, it […]

Parashat Emor: So Help Me God

Excerpted from Rabbi Dr. Norman J. Lamm’s Derashot Ledorot: A Commentary for the Ages – Leviticus, co-published by OU Press and Maggid Books So Help Me God* Our sidra of this morning opens with the commandment to the kohen that he not defile himself by contact with the corpse of any person save his closest relatives. […]

Parashat Tazria-Metzora: Aspects of Creativity

Excerpted from Rabbi Dr. Norman J. Lamm’s Derashot Ledorot: A Commentary for the Ages – Leviticus, co-published by OU Press and Maggid Books Aspects of Creativity* The most wondrous miracle in the course of life is the appearance of life itself – the birth of a child. If, therefore, when a child is born, he or […]

The Seder Night: An Exalted Evening

Excerpted from ‘The Seder Night: An Exalted Evening’ A Passover Haggadah with a commentary based on the teachings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik; Edited by Rabbi Menachem D. Genack The Seder Night: An Exalted Evening  In my experiential – not intellectual – memory, two nights stand out as singular, as endowed with a unique and […]

Parashat Vayikra: Show and Tell

Excerpted from Rabbi Dr. Norman J. Lamm’s Derashot Ledorot: A Commentary for the Ages – Leviticus, co-published by OU Press and Maggid Books Show and Tell* One of the offenses for which the Torah, in this morning’s sidra, declares the sin offering obligatory is that of shevuat ha’edut, that is, one who is under oath to […]

Parshat Vayakhel-Pikudei: Understanding Shabbat

Excerpted from Rabbi Shmuel Goldin’s Unlocking the Torah Text-Shemot, co-published by OU Press and Gefen Publishers Understanding Shabbat Context As the curtain rises on Parshat Vayakhel, Moshe assembles the nation in order to convey God’s commandments concerning the construction of the Mishkan. Suddenly, however, he opens his remarks with the following directives concerning Shabbat: Six days work may […]

Megillat Esther Mesorat HaRav: Ve’Ata Kadosh – Hallel of the Hidden God

Excerpted from Megillat Esther Mesorat HaRav, co-published by OU Press and Koren Publishers Jerusalem Ve’Ata Kadosh: Hallel of the Hidden God* On Purim, the Megilla is read both at night and in the morning. While there is unanimity among rabbinic authorities as to the requirement to recite the sheheĥeyanu blessing prior to the recitation of the Megilla on […]

Parshat Mishpatim: The Truth, The Whole Truth, and Nothing But…

Excerpted from Rabbi Shmuel Goldin’s Unlocking the Torah Text – Shemot, co-published by OU Press and Gefen Publishers The Truth, The Whole Truth, and Nothing But… Context The Torah issues two general directives concerning the avoidance of falsehood. Here, in Parshat Mishpatim, the text states, “Distance yourself from a false matter [or: a false word].” In Parshat […]

Parshat Yitro: How Many are the Ten Commandments?

Excerpted from Rabbi Dr. Norman J. Lamm’s Derashot Ledorot: A Commentary for the Ages – Exodus, co-published by OU Press and Maggid Books How Many are the Ten Commandments* If an election were held among the peoples of the world to determine which was the most popular document in the universe, there is no doubt that some of the […]