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Parshat Ki Tisa 5
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“And I will remove My hand and you will see My back. And My face will not be seen.” (Shemot 33:23) Moshe ascends Mount Sinai. He asks the Almighty to reveal to him His essential nature. Hashem responds that a material being is not capable of grasping the Divine essence. However, Hashem agrees to allow […]
Parshat Tetzaveh 4
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“And you shall make sacred garments for Ahron your brother for dignity and glory.” (Shemot 27:2) The garments of the Kohen Gadol ­ the High Priest ­ were designed to create an impressive visual appearance. Halacha also regulated other aspects of the Kohen Gadol’s appearance. In these cases, as well, the purpose of the regulation […]
Parshat Tetzaveh 3
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“And you should make sacred garments for Ahron and your brother for honor and glory.” (Shemot 28:2) The pasuk says that these garments are designed for honor and glory. However, the pasuk is vague. The garments glorify whom or what? The commentaries offer a number of responses to this question. Rabbaynu Avraham ibn Ezra suggests […]
Parshat Tetzaveh 2
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“And you should make a Breast-plate of Judgment of a woven design. Like the design of the Ephod you shall make it. You shall make it of gold, blue, purple, scarlet wool and twisted linen.” (Shemot 28:15) The Kohen Gadol wore eight garments. These consisted of the four garments worn by every kohen and an […]
Parshat Terumah 5
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“The poles should be in the rings of the Ark. They should not be removed.” (Shemot 25:15) A ring was attached to each corner of the Ark. Poles were passed through these rings. These poles were used to carry the Aron – the Ark. The Torah commands us that the poles must remain in the […]
Parshat Terumah 4
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“And they will make a sanctuary for Me and I will dwell among them.” (Shemot 25:8) The Torah contains thousands of laws. However, there are only 613 mitzvot. The various laws are subsumed within the commandments. For example, there are thirty-nine melachot – forms of creative labor – that may not be performed on Shabbat. […]
Parshat Vayeishev: The Two Dreams of Yosef
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“And his brothers were jealous of him. And his father studied the issue.” (Bersheit 37:11) Yosef had two dreams. In the first dream he and his brothers were in a field. They were binding grain into sheaves. Yosef’s sheaf arose and stood. The brothers’ sheaves surrounded Yosef’s sheaf and bowed to it. Yosef told his […]
Parshat Mishpatim 6
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“And these are the laws that you should place before them.” (Shemot 21:1) Parshat Mishpatim describes many of the civil laws of the Torah. The Talmud explains in Tractate Gitten that we are required to resolve disputes regarding civil law in Jewish courts. We are not permitted to submit such disputes before non-Jewish civil courts. […]
Parshat Mishpatim 5
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“Do not curse judges. Do not curse a leader of your people.” (Shemot 22:27) On the simplest level, the above passage prohibits us from cursing judges. What is the reason for this prohibition? A study of Maimonides’ treatment of this mitzvah provides a simple, straightforward response. Maimonides discusses this prohibition in his codification of the […]
Parshat Mishpatim 4
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“And these are the laws that you should place before them.” (Shemot 20:1) One of the debates that regularly emerge in education concerns the proper role of the teacher in the educational experience. Should the teacher impart knowledge to the student? Should the teacher assume a more passive role and merely act as a facilitator […]