Parshiyot Nitzavim/Vayeilech 5770: Mutual Responsibility — Key to The Ge’ula?

by Moshe Burt

Our Parsha Nitzavim sets the tone for the final doubleheader parshiyot by opening with Moshe Rabbeinu addressing the B’nai Yisrael on the final day of his life:

“Atem Nitzavim HaYom… You are standing today, all of you, before Hashem, your G’d…. for you to pass into the convenant of Hashem, …that Hashem… seals with you today in order to establish you as a people to Him and that He be a G’d to you as He spoke to you and as He swore to your forefathers, to Avraham, to Yitzchak and to Yaakov.” (Artscroll Stone Edition Chumash, Sefer Devarim Perek 29, posukim 9-13) [...]  Click here to read more.

Parsha Ki Tavo 5770 — The Merit of Careful, Thoughtful Mitzvot

by Moshe Burt

Parsha Ki Tavo continues in the same theme track with last week’s Parsha Ki Teitzei and several of the previous Parshiyot in discussing Mitzvot which teach kindness, compassion and attentiveness to others.

Ki Tavo begins with the Halachot of Bikkurim — the first fruits which were brought to the Kohen as a thanksgiving as well as both rememberance of Pharaoh’s cruelty and Hashem’s deliverance of B’nai Yisrael from Mitzrayim to a land flowing with milk and honey. Our Parsha then enunciates the laws concerning Ma’aser and it’s declaration regarding the required tithes. [...]  Click here to read more.

Parsha Ki Teitsei 5770: Kindness, Unity and Collective Responsibility

by Moshe Burt

Parsha Ki Teitsei teaches numerous Mitzvot such as; returning lost items to their rightful owners, loaning money to one’s fellow Jew free from interest, what one is permitted to or prohibited from taking from another Jew as loan security, Shatnes (wool and linen together), Tzitzit, and dealing fairly and truthfully with one’s fellow Jews in business. We also learn of Mitzvot such as sending a mother bird away before taking the young or the eggs and helping one’s fellow Jew load and unload a burden, fencing in a roof area and not harnessing together different species of animals on the same yoke. [...]  Click here to read more.

Parsha Shoftim 5770: Israeli Governance: Justice in Judgement, or Subversion of Righteousness?

by Moshe Burt

The third posuk of our Parsha reads;

“Tzedek, Tzedek tierdof…” Righteousness, righteousness (also rendered Justice, Justice) you shall pursue that you may live and inherit the land which the Lord, your G’d gives you.” (Sefer Devarim, Perek 16, posuk 20)

This posuk follows immediately after the opening of our Parsha in which Moshe Rabbeinu urges the B’nai Yisrael;

“Judges and officers shall you appoint in all of your cities — which Hashem …gives you — for your tribes; and they shall judge the people with righteous judgement. You shall not pervert judgement, you shall not respect persons, neither take a bribe, for a bribe binds the eyes of the wise, and perverts the words of the righteous.” (Sefer Devarim, Perek 16, p’sukim 18-19) [...]  Click here to read more.