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Holiness is Natural
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Courtesy of TheShmuz.com “You shall be holy, for holy am I your G-d.” – Vayikrah 19:2 In this one sweeping statement the Torah assigns to us a mitzvah that seems well beyond our capacity – be holy. Even more perplexing this isn’t relegated only to the elite, or to the most pious. Rather, every Jew is […]
Primed for Spiritual Perfection
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Courtesy of TheShmuz.com “For I am HASHEM your G-d — you are to sanctify yourselves and you shall become holy, for I am holy; and you shall not make your souls impure through any creeping things that creeps on the earth.” — Vayikra 11:44 The Torah seems to be connecting holiness with not eating impure food. […]
Hashem and Man: Master and Servant 
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Courtesy of TheShmuz.com “The Kohain shall don a garment of linen, and he shall don linen breeches on his skin, and he shall remove the ashes.” — Vayikra 6:3 One of the daily activities in the Mishkan was taking out the ashes. The Chovos Ha’Levavos explains that Hashem commanded Aaron to do this action each day […]
Forces of the Upper World
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Courtesy of TheShmuz.com “You shall not allow a sorceress to live.” — Shemos 22:17 The Sefer HaChinuch explains that the mitzvah to destroy sorcerers is based on the foundation that HASHEM created a perfect world. Everything in this world has a plan and a purpose, and everything is in exact balance. To maintain a perfect physical […]
The Nishomah and the Ape
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Courtesy of TheShmuz.com “Yisro, the minister of Midian, the father-in-law of Moshe, heard everything that HASHEM did for Moshe and Yisrael, His nation — that HASHEM had taken Yisrael out of Mitzraim.” — Shemos 18:1 The Ramban explains that one time in the course of history, HASHEM demonstrated that He alone created, maintains and orchestrates all […]
A Slave to Fashion
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Courtesy of TheShmuz.com “And the Jewish people did as Moshe instructed them, and they borrowed from the Egyptians silver vessels, gold vessels, and garments.” — Shemos 12:35 HASHEM promised Avraham that his children would be slaves in Mitzrayim (Egypt), yet they would be redeemed and would leave with great wealth. And so, when it was time […]
Your Middos Are Killing You
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“But as much as they would afflict it, so it would increase and so it would burst forth; and they were disgusted because of the Children of Israel.” — Shemos 1:12 The Jews become the enemy of the state Yosef, his brothers, and their entire generation had passed on. A new era was beginning in […]
The Influence of Society
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“And I will return in peace to my father’s house, and Hashem will be to me G-d.” – Bereishis 28:21 When Yaakov Avinu was told that his brother Aysav was plotting to kill him, he ran from his father’s home and prepared for an extended stay in exile. Along the way, he davened, prayed and […]
Hashem Hates Thievery
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“And HASHEM said to Noach, “The end of all flesh has come before me since the land is filled with robbery through them, and I will now destroy the land.” – Bereishis 6:13 The world turned to iniquity In this posuk, HASHEM appears to Noach, telling him that the world has turned to evil and […]
Rosh Ha’Shanah – Issues of the Day
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“The Molochim asked HASHEM, “Why is it that the Jewish nation doesn’t sing Hallel on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur?” HASHEM answered them, “Is it possible that a king sits on the throne of judgment, with the books of life and death open in front of Him, and the Jewish Nation should sing?” (Rosh Hashanah 32b) […]