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The Benefits of Anarchy
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When you come into the land that Hashem your L-rd gives to you and you possess it and dwell in it, you will say: Place upon me a king like all of the nations that surround me. (Devarim 17:14) The Torah’s instructions regarding a king and their meaning The passage above describes an event that […]
The Megilah’s Account of Multiple Intelligences[1]
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Now in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew, whose name was Mordechai, the son of Yair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite; who had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captivity which had been carried away with Yechoniah king of Judah, whom Nevuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had […]
Enough for What?
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And Moshe said to the nation: Remember this day that you went forth from Egypt from the huse of bondage. For with a mighty hand Hashem took you forth from this. And do not eat leavened bread. (Sefer Shemot 13:3) The elements of the mitzvah of sipur Maimonides cites the above passage as the Torah […]
Maybe the Prudes are Right
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There should not be a prostitute among the daughters of Israel and there should not be a male prostitute among the sons of Israel. (Sefer Devarim 23:18) Contrasting views on sexuality This passage explicitly prohibits prostitution. However, Maimonides explains that included in this prohibition is any sexual intimacy that is outside of the context of […]
Paradigms of Confession
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And you should say before Hashem your G-d, I have removed the sacred from the house.  And also I have given from it to the Leyve and the convert, to the orphan and to the widow, as required by your commandments that You have commanded me.  I have not violated Your commandments and I have […]
Oral Law 101
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And He Called to Moshe and Hashem spoke to him from the Tent of Assembly saying: (Sefer VaYikra 1:1) Many of the Torah’s commandments are derived from Sefer VaYikra The Torah is composed of narrative and laws. The narrative begins with the Torah’s account of creation. It continues to describe the lives and experiences of […]
Humility
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And the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be rent, and the hair of his head shall go loose, and he shall cover his upper lip, and shall cry: ‘Unclean, unclean.’ (Sefer VaYikra 13:45) Tzar’at: A physical consequence for a spiritual failing Tazria and Metzorah deal with forms of ritual impurity engendered […]
The Pursuit of Happiness
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And Moses said to Aharon, and to Eleazar and to Ithamar, his sons: Let not the hair of your heads go loose, neither tend your clothes, that you do not die, and that He be not wroth with all the congregation. But let your brethren, the whole house of Israel, bewail the burning which Hashem […]
Dreams of Eternity
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And Hashem said: I have pardoned according to your word. But indeed, as I live – and all the earth shall be filled with the glory of Hashem – surely all those men who have seen My glory, and My signs, which I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet have tested Me these […]
Loved to Death
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And Hashem spoke unto Moshe and unto Elazar the son of Aharon the priest, saying: Take the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, from twenty years old and upward, by their fathers’ houses, all that are able to go forth to war in Israel. (Sefer BeMidbar 26:1-2) Sefer BeMidbar is the […]