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Haftarat Shemini: Three Gems from Rav Yonasan Eibeshitz
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The Haftarah of Shemini discusses transporting the Aron and the incident where Uza died after coming too close to the Aron (similar to Nadav and Avihu). What is the significance of the name גורן נכון, the place to which the Aron was brought? The connection between Kavod HaTorah and the ability to have children which […]
Non-Kosher Animals, Blood and Orlah
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In Parshat Shemini the Bechor Shor provides his own explanations as to why some animals and foods are kosher, and other are not. Any animal that has true hoofs, with clefts through the hoofs, and that chews the cud—such you may eat.  The following, however, of those that either chew the cud or have true […]
Eating: The Deeper Meaning
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This parsha deals extensively with forbidden foods. To understand the meaning of forbidden foods, we need to look at a more fundamental issue: Why were people created with a need to eat at all? The Need to Eat Our need to eat is as natural as our need to breathe, and it’s precisely because it’s […]
Nadav and Avihu: Sinners or Saints
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The Torah doesn’t directly tell us whether or not Nadav and Avihu sinned. What does the Chumash say and what do Chazal tell us they did? The parallel between the inauguration of the Mishkan and Akeidat Yitzchak. Why do Nadav and Avihu have a special status at Ma’amad Har Sinai in contrast to Elazar and […]
Shemini 5779 – Kashrut
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Kli Yakar: When listing the animals with only 1 kosher sign, why does the Torah begin by listing its kosher sign – just write why it’s not kosher! The hypocrisy of the pig. The parallel between the contradictory nature of the 4 animals with one kosher sign (ארנבת, שפן, גמל, חזיר) and the contradictory nature […]
Why Didn’t Yosef Phone Home?
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Throughout the time Yosef is in Egypt he doesn’t contact his father. Why not – especially after he becomes viceroy! When Yosef sees his brothers for the first time, the first thing he remembers is his dreams – not the fact that they threw him in the pit! Why? The approaches of the Ramban, Rav […]
Shemini 5779
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On the 8th day of the inauguration of the Mishkan Moshe summons Aharon, his sons and the zekenim. He then addresses Aharon (and his sons). Why are the zekenim summoned? One of the korbanot Aharon brought was to atone for the sale of Yosef. What is the connection between the two? Rav Joseph B. Soloveichik […]
Between Hope and Humanity
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Covenant and Conversation Family Edition on OU Life It should have been the great day of celebration. The Tabernacle, Israel’s first collective house of worship, was complete. All preparations had been made. For seven days, Moses had performed the inauguration. Now, the eighth day, the first of Nissan, had arrived. The Priests, led by Aaron, […]
Prophecy as Current Events
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After a haftarah we say: “שכל דבריו אמת וצדק” – all the words of the Neviim are true (one of the 13 principles of faith). Regarding Ezekiel’s prophecy contained in the haftarah for Parshat Parah: how did the Jews at the time understand it, how did our grandparents understand it, and how do we understand […]