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Chazon Yeshayahu
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לֹא תוֹסִיפוּ הָבִיא מִנְחַת שָׁוְא קְטֹרֶת תּוֹעֵבָה הִיא לִי… לֹא אוּכַל אָוֶן וַעֲצָרָה Do not continue to bring Me your worthless meal-offerings, it is an incense of abomination to Me… I cannot abide iniquity with assembly (Yeshayahu 1:13) The Shabbos of Parshas Devarim marks the week in which Tisha b’Av falls. The haftarah is taken […]
Cities of Refuge
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One of the topics discussed toward the end of Parshas Masei is that of arei miklat – the cities of refuge, to which an accidental killer must flee. In his classic and unique manner, the Meshech Chochmah has an illuminating way of looking at the relevant pesukim. A Long-Term Anointment וְיָשַׁב בָּהּ עַד מוֹת הַכֹּהֵן […]
Pinchas’ Reward
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פִּינְחָס בֶּן אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן אַהֲרֹן הַכֹּהֵן הֵשִׁיב אֶת חֲמָתִי מֵעַל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּקַנְאוֹ אֶת קִנְאָתִי בְּתוֹכָם וְלֹא כִלִּיתִי אֶת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּקִנְאָתִי Pinchas, son of Elazar, son of Aharon the Kohen, turned back My wrath from upon the Children of Israel, when He acted zealously of My behalf among them, so that I did not […]
Ideologies and Accessories: The Sin of Baal-Peor
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וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה אֶל שֹׁפְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הִרְגוּ אִישׁ אֲנָשָׁיו הַנִּצְמָדִים לְבַעַל פְּעוֹר Moshe said to the judges of Yisrael, “Let each man kill his men who were attached to Baal-Peor” (25:5) Commenting on the word “הנצמדים – who were attached,” the Gemara[1] quotes a braisa which states that they were attached like a bracelet (צמיד) on […]
Water, Action and Vision
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The Meshech Chochmah’s discussion of the episode of Mei Meriva is comprised of three separate parts. Part I: Two Types of Blessing When Bnei Yisrael arrive at Kadesh and find themselves without water, Hashem instructs Moshe:[1] וְהוֹצֵאתָ לָהֶם מַיִם מִן הַסֶּלַע וְהִשְׁקִיתָ אֶת הָעֵדָה וְאֶת בְּעִירָם You shall take out for them water from the […]
Two Hundred and Fifty plus One
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וּקְחוּ אִישׁ מַחְתָּתוֹ וּנְתַתֶּם עֲלֵיהֶם קְטֹרֶת And let each man take his fire-pan and place ketores on them. (16:17) When Korach and his men complain about being excluded from the service in the Mishkan, Moshe responds by telling them each to offer the ketores; for through that, the one whom Hashem chooses will be known. […]
Tzitzis and Creation
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לְמַעַן תִּזְכְּרוּ וַעֲשִׂיתֶם אֶת כָּל מִצְו‍ֹתָי וִהְיִיתֶם קְדֹשִׁים לֵאלֹקֵיכֶם So that you may remember and perform all My commandments and be holy to your God. (15:40) Completing Creation One of the foundational principles of Torah is the idea that Hashem has created the world in an imperfect state, leaving it up to man to bring […]
A Pesach Offering in the Wilderness
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וְיַעֲשׂוּ בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת הַפָּסַח בְּמוֹעֲדוֹ The Bnei Yisrael shall perform the Pesach offering in its appointed time (9:2) An Exceptional Directive The Korban Pesach is discussed in our Parshas was the only one offered throughout the forty years in the wilderness. Indeed, according to the view of R’ Yishmael,[1] there was no general obligation […]
The Nazir
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כֹּל יְמֵי נִזְרוֹ קָדֹשׁ הוּא לַה’ All the days of his nezirus he is holy to Hashem (6:8) The Goal of Nezirus One of the mitzvos discussed in our Parsha is Nazir, the person who abstains from certain activities in order to distance himself from sin and attain a higher level of closeness to Hashem. […]
Kohanim and Leviim
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וְהָיוּ לִי הַלְוִיִּם אֲנִי ה The Leviim shall be Mine, I am Hashem (3:45) The pesukim toward the end of perek 3 of Bamidbar discuss the role assigned to the Leviim as attendants to the Kohanim in their Avodah. The Meshech Chochmah analyses the respective statuses of these two groups by relating them to a […]