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Two Motifs of Tzedakah
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The men came with the women; every generous hearted person brought bracelets and earrings and rings and buckles, all kinds of golden objects, and every man who waved a waving of gold to Hashem.  (Sefer Shemot 35:22) Everyone who set aside an offering of silver or copper brought the offering for Hashem, and everyone with […]
False Security
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To accept upon themselves to observe the fourteenth day of the month of Adar and fifteenth in it in every year.  (Megilat Esther 9:21) I. Purim’s two dates Most communities observe Purim on the fourteenth of Adar.  In cities that were walled in ancient times, Purim is observed on the fifteenth of Adar.  It is […]
Watch Your Language
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This they shall give, everyone who goes through the counting: half a shekel according to the sacred shekel. Twenty gerahs equal one shekel; half of [such] a shekel shall be an offering to Hashem.  (Shemot 30:13) I. The census of the Jewish people In the opening passages of Parshat Ki Tisa, Moshe is commanded to […]
The Beauty in the Details
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 And they shall make Me a sanctuary and I will dwell in their midst.  According to all that I show you, the pattern of the Mishcan and the pattern of all its vessels; and so shall you do.  Sefer Shemot 25:8-9) I. The character of halachah Torah observance is guided by a comprehensive system of […]
Taking it Personally
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I am Hashem your L-rd who took you forth from the Land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.  You should have no other gods before Me.  (Sefer Shemot 20:2) I. Hashem took us out of Egypt Parshat Yitro includes the Asseret HaDibrot – the Decalogue.  The above passage is the first component of the […]
Misplaces Passages
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 Then Moshe and the Children of Israel sang this song of praise to Hashem and they said, saying: I will sing praise to Hashem for He is greatly exalted. Horse and its ride He threw into the sea.  (Sefer Shemot 15:1) The Song of the Sea Parshat BeShalach opens with the final episode of the […]
A Little Fear is Good
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And Paroh summoned Moshe and said:  Go forth and serve Hashem. However, your flocks and your cattle leave behind.  Also, your children shall go forth with you. (Sefer Shemot 10:24) Paroh’s response to the plague of darkness Parshat Bo details the final three plagues.  At its conclusion Bnai Yisrael leave Egypt.  The above passage describes […]
Follow the Leader, or Not
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And Hashem spoke to Moshe and to Aharon and He commanded them regarding Bnai Yisrael and Paroh, the king of Egypt – to take forth Bnai Yisrael from the Land of Egypt.  (Sefer Shemot 6:13) Patience with the Jewish people In the above passage, Hashem commands Moshe and Aharon regarding the Jewish people and Paroh.  […]
Lessons in Civil Disobedience
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And the child grew and she brought him to Paroh’s daughter.  He was a son to her.  She called him “Moshe”, because she had drawn him from the water.  (Sefer Shemot 2:10) Moshe’s names Parshat Shemot describes the events surrounding the birth of Moshe. Paroh decreed that all male infants born to Bnai Yisrael should […]
“Information’s Unavailable to the Mortal Man”
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And Yaakov summoned his sons and he said: Gather together and I will tell you that which will befall you at the end of days.  (Sefer Beresheit 49:1.) Yaakov’s vision of the end of days Parsaht VaYeche describes Yaakov’s final days.  The above passage introduces the closing scene of his life.  Yaakov summons his sons.  […]