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Parshas Ki Sisa
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1 – Lashon Nekiyah The Ramban explains that the expression “machatzis ha’shekel b’shekel ha’kodesh” is to be understood in the context of the Biblical shekel’s status of being employed to establish requisite values for arachin, pidyon ha’ben, the Mishkan, and every monetary value prescribed in the Torah. That, explains the Ramban, is why it is […]
Vayeilech & Yom Kippur
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It’s always from Hashem     אמר ביום ההוא הלא על כי אין אלקי בקרבי מצאוני הרעות האלה (לא:יז) It seems as though this is a statement of teshuva on the part of Klal Yisrael; that they recognize that their aveiros caused the Shechina to leave them.  However the next pasuk says “v’Anochi haster astir panay ba’yom […]
Va´eschanan – Shabbos of Simcha
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In the zemer, Kol mekadeish shevii, we find the expression, “ha´mechakim l´vinyan ariel b´yom Shabbos kodesh sisu v´simchu k´mikablei matan nachliel, those that await the construction of the Beis Ha´Mikdash, on the holy day of Shabbos, rejoice and be happy as those who have received a gift of inheritance from the Almighty.“  An innovative way […]
Parshas Balak
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Uniqueness of “Parshas Bilam”        וישם ה’ דבר בפי בלעם    כג:ה Moshe Rabbeinu wrote his sefer,” says the Gemara in Bava Basra, “and parshas Bilam.”  This seems like quite an enigmatic statement.  After all, what should distinguish “parshas Bilam” from any other part of the Torah?  What is distinct and unique about it? There is a […]
Parshas Chukas
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זאת חקת התורה…ויקחו אליך פרה אדמה       יט:א Why does the topic of parah adumah appear at this point in the order of the parshiyos?  Already from the beginning of Nissan they processed a parah adumah.  And according to one opinion in Chazal, parah adumah was included in the mitzvos that Klal Yisrael were given way […]
Parshas Shlach
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במדבר הזה יפלו פגריכם   יד:כט Greatness of the Dor Ha’Midbar On the one hand, the dor ha’midbar was punished extremely harshly, to the extent that there is a Tanna who holds that they have no place in Olam Ha’Ba (Sanhedrin 110b)!  On the other hand, these are the very same people who are the […]
Parshas Behaaloscha
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וביום שמחתכם ובמועדיכם ובראשי חדשיכם ותקעתם בחצצרות    י:י What is yom simchaschem? There are two opinions in the Sifri. The Tanna Kama says that yom simchaschem is Shabbos. Even though it is clear from Masechtos Shabbos and Beitzah that only on the Shloshah Regalim is there a mitzvah of simchah, but not on Shabbos, […]
Parshas Naso
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מבן שלשים שנה ומעלה ועד בן חמשים שנה    ד:מז  The pasuk refers to two types of avodah that the Leviyim were tasked with: avodas avodah and avodas masa.  Rashi explains that “avodas avodah” is shir b’mitzaltayim v’kinoros – playing musical instruments such as cymbals and harps to accompany the singing, and “avodas masa” is […]
Parshas Bamidbar
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ואלה תולדת אהרן ומשה    ג:א      שכל המלמד את בן חברו תורה כאלו ילדו    רש״י  Last week, we fulfilled takanas Ezra to read the curses of Sefer Vayikra before Shavuos (Megilla 31b).  But what is the connection between parshas Bamidbar and Shavuos?  True, there is a discussion in Tosafos (ibid.) if it […]
Parshas Bechukosai
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השבתי חיה רעה מן הארץ כו:וו From this pasuk, the Raavad contests the Rambam’s statement that the world will continue to function according to natural law even once Mashiach comes, and the nevuos that describe miraculous things like wolves living with lambs, etc. is metaphorical expression (Hilchos Melachim 12:1).  The Rambam explains that the idea […]