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Finding the Voice
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In terms of the laws of tumah and tahara, טומאת צרעת is the most severe, not טומאת מת. Reish Lakish makes a linguistic connection between metzora and מוציא שם רע. God created the world through speech and gives man alone the ability to speak. Misspeach caused exile, both at the time of Churban Bayit Sheni […]
A Non-Sin Offering
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What does the word טומאה mean? What is the relationship between טומאה and holiness (why can’t someone who is טמא interact with that which is holy)? Why does the Torah compare נדה and the טומאה of childbirth – they are opposites! Why should she have to bring a sin offering or require atonement? The most […]
Nadav and Avihu: Sinners or Saints
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The Torah doesn’t directly tell us whether or not Nadav and Avihu sinned. What does the Chumash say and what do Chazal tell us they did? The parallel between the inauguration of the Mishkan and Akeidat Yitzchak. Why do Nadav and Avihu have a special status at Ma’amad Har Sinai in contrast to Elazar and […]
Misappropriation
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What does the word מעילה mean? The concept of מעילה is applied not only to sins against God (the prototype of מעילה) but in other contexts as well (e.g. misuse of speech, theft, and Sotah). What is the common denominator? Rav Shimshon Rafael Hirsch on the difference between מעילה and בגידה and the difference between […]
Testimony of Forgiveness
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Moshe, Itamar, Betzalel, and Oholiav are the four involved in building of the Mishkan. Moshe, Itamar, and Betzalel is the same leadership we saw in the war with Amalek (Itamar representing Aharon and Betzalel the grandson of Chur). Why Oholiav? Why is Yehoshua (the 4th one involved in the war with Amalek) “replaced” by Oholiav/Dan? […]
A Desire to Give
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What is the difference between נדבה לבו and נשאו לבו? What does the phrase ויבואו האנשים על הנשים mean? What does חכמת לב mean? Why does the Torah go back and forth between describing the men and women’s contributions and between similar-sounding terms (נשאו לבו, נדבה לבו, חכמת לב)? There is an element of spirit […]
Calf Building
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The verse before the sin of the Golden Calf makes it sound like Hashem is finished speaking to Moshe, yet a few pesukim later Hashem tells Moshe to go down to the people! At the beginning of the 10 commandments Hashem “introduces” Himself as the God of the Exodus, not as the God of creation […]
A Purpose of the Mishkan
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We often look at the Mishkan from the perspective of Sefer Vayikra (korbanot). Yet there has been no mention of korbanot yet! Thus far in the Torah it would seem that the purpose of the Mishkan is to store the Luchot (Aron) and a place for the Shechina to rest (kaporet). What is the relationship […]
Chariots of Fire
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The beginning of Terumah seems totally disconnected from the end of Mishpatim. Is there a logical progression? The description of the vision Bnei Yisrael had is very similar to the מעשה מרכבה. At the end of Mishpatim Moshe ascends to Har Sinai for forty days and forty nights. Where is Moshe supposed to put the […]
Sights and Sounds
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“וכל העם רואים את הקולות ואת הלפידים”: The Mechilta discusses whether they saw the sound (R’ Akiva) or they just “saw” a “sound and light show” (R’ Yishmael).  There are two elements of Ma’amad Har Sinai – form and content. Is the emphasis on the Divine Revelation or the content? Download the Mekorot Delivered at […]