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In the Darkness of the Night
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Every event in Parshat Vayishlach is presented by the Torah as ambivalent – the Torah leaves it for us to decide if it’s good or bad – Did Yaakov act correctly in telling Esav he was returning, how Yaakov dealt with Esav, the vengeance of Shimon and Levi. Yaakov is returning to the real world, he […]
Chariots of Fire
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The beginning of Terumah seems totally disconnected from the end of Mishpatim. Is there a logical progression? The description of the vision Bnei Yisrael had is very similar to the מעשה מרכבה. At the end of Mishpatim Moshe ascends to Har Sinai for forty days and forty nights. Where is Moshe supposed to put the […]
Terumah 5779
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Emet L’Yaakov: The beams of the Mishkan were “עצי שיטים עומדים” – why does the Torah tell us they have to be standing? Why did Yaakov plant trees on his way down to Egypt for them to use for the Mishkan? R’ Yochanan Zweig: Part of the mitzvah of building the Mishkan (and Beit HaMikdash) […]
“Make For Me a Mishkan and I Will Dwell Amongst Them”
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If you stop a Jew in the street and ask, “Where is God?” the most instinctive response will be, “Everywhere.” Or perhaps, after a bit more thought, the person might quote the well-known response of the Kotzker Rebbe, “God is found everywhere you allow Him to enter.” However, if we were to look to Tanach, […]
A Portable Home
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Covenant and Conversation Family Edition on OU Life The parsha of Terumah describes the construction of the Tabernacle, the first collective house of worship in the history of Israel. The first but not the last; it was eventually succeeded by the Temple in Jerusalem. I want to focus on one moment in Jewish history which […]
Terumah 5779
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Which is the real Adar? When the Gemara discusses when to celebrate Purim it doesn’t discuss which is the real Adar; it deals with not passing over mitzvot vs. linking the geulah of Purim with the geulah of Pesach. Why not simply ask which is the real Adar? ועשו לי מקדש is a mitzvah not […]
The Mysterious Cherubim of Shlomo Hamelech
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Moshe is told to make 2 kruvim on each end of the kaporet. The next pasuk says the same thing – to place one on each side. Why does the Torah repeat itself? The poles of the Aron are the only poles that couldn’t be removed yet they weren’t even needed – the Midrash says […]