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Shabbos Shuva
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שׁוּבָה יִשְׂרָאֵל עַד ה’ אֱלֹקֶיךָ כִּי כָשַׁלְתָּ בַּעֲו‍ֹנֶךָ. קְחוּ עִמָּכֶם דְּבָרִים וְשׁוּבוּ אֶל ה Return Yisrael, unto Hashem your God, for you have stumbled in your sin. Take words with you and return to Hashem. (Haftarah, Hoshea 14:2-3) Reuven’s Teshuvah and Hoshea’s Message After Yosef had been sold by the brothers, the pasuk states, “וַיָּשָׁב […]
Returning to Hear Hashem’s Voice
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כִּי תִשְׁמַע בְּקוֹל ה’ אֱלֹקֶיךָ לִשְׁמֹר מִצְו‍ֹתָיו וְחֻקֹּתָיו הַכְּתוּבָה בְּסֵפֶר הַתּוֹרָה הַזֶּה כִּי תָשׁוּב אֶל ה’ אֱלֹקֶיךָ בְּכָל לְבָבְךָ וּבְכָל נַפְשֶׁךָ When you listen to the voice of Hashem, your God, to observe His commandments and His decrees, that are written in this book of the Torah, when you shall return to Hashem, your God, […]
Life, Mitzvos and the Pursuit of Happiness
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תַּחַת אֲשֶׁר לֹא עָבַדְתָּ אֶת ה’ אֱלֹקֶיךָ בְּשִׂמְחָה וּבְטוּב לֵבָב מֵרֹב כֹּל Because you did not serve Hashem, your God, through joy and goodness of heart, from an abundance of everything (28:47) These words, which appear in the middle of the curses of the Tochachah in our parsha, are the Torah’s explanation as to why […]
Amoni and Moavi
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לֹא יָבֹא עַמּוֹנִי וּמוֹאָבִי בִּקְהַל ה An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter the congregation of Hashem (23:4) To Whom does the Prohibition Extend? Our pasuk states that although descendants from the nations of Amon and Moav can convert to Judaism, they cannot marry in to the Jewish people. There is a well-known qualification regarding […]
Lo Tasur – Heeding the Sanhedrin
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לֹא תָסוּר מִן הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר יַגִּידוּ לְךָ יָמִין וּשְׂמֹאל Do not swerve from the word that they will tell you, to the right or to the left (17:11) The Scope of the Mitzvah The position of the Rambam[1] regarding the mitzvah of “Lo Tasur” – not swerving from the words of the Sanhedrin – is […]
Prophecy and the Principle of Chazakah
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כִּי יָקוּם בְּקִרְבְּךָ נָבִיא אוֹ חֹלֵם חֲלוֹם… לֵאמֹר נֵלְכָה אַחֲרֵי אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים… וְנָעָבְדֵם. לֹא תִשְׁמַע אֶל דִּבְרֵי הַנָּבִיא הַהוּא אוֹ אֶל חוֹלֵם הַחֲלוֹם הַהוּא If there should arise in your midst a prophet or a dreamer of dreams… saying, “Let us follow gods of others… and worship them.” Do not listen to that prophet or […]
Bircas Hamazon, Beitar and the Jewish People
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וְאָכַלְתָּ וְשָׂבָעְתָּ וּבֵרַכְתָּ אֶת ה’ אֱלֹקֶיךָ עַל הָאָרֶץ הַטֹּבָה אֲשֶׁר נָתַן לָךְ You will eat and you will be satisfied, and you shall bless Hashem, your God, for the good Land that He gave you. (8:10) The Four Berachos of Bircas Hamazon Of the four berachos which comprise bircas hamazon, the first three are de’Oraisa, […]
Shabbos and Yetzias Mitzrayim
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וְזָכַרְתָּ כִּי עֶבֶד הָיִיתָ בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם וַיֹּצִאֲךָ ה’ אֱלֹקֶיךָ מִשָּׁם בְּיָד חֲזָקָה וּבִזְרֹעַ נְטוּיָה עַל כֵּן צִוְּךָ ה’ אֱלֹקֶיךָ לַעֲשׂוֹת אֶת יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת. And you shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and Hashem, your God, took you out from there with a strong hand and an outstretched arm; therefore, […]
Causes for War
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וַיֹּאמֶר ה’ אֵלַי אַל תָּצַר אֶת מוֹאָב וְאַל תִּתְגָּר בָּם מִלְחָמָה כִּי לֹא אֶתֵּן לְךָ מֵאַרְצוֹ יְרֻשָּׁה כִּי לִבְנֵי לוֹט נָתַתִּי אֶת עָר יְרֻשָּׁה. Hashem said to me, “Do not oppress Moav and do not provoke war with them, for I shall not give you an inheritance from their land, for to the descendants of […]
Mitzvos “From Hashem” and Mitzvos “With Hashem”
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וַיִּקְרְבוּ רָאשֵׁי הָאָבוֹת לְמִשְׁפַּחַת בְּנֵי גִלְעָד בֶּן מָכִיר בֶּן מְנַשֶּׁה מִמִּשְׁפְּחֹת בְּנֵי יוֹסֵף וַיְדַבְּרוּ לִפְנֵי מֹשֶׁה… וַאדֹנִי צֻוָּה בַה’ לָתֵת אֶת נַחֲלַת צְלָפְחָד אָחִינוּ לִבְנֹתָיו. The heads of the fathers of the family of the children of Gilad, son of Machir, son of Menasheh of the families of the children of Yosef, approached and spoke […]