Parsha Emor 5771: The Kohanic Paradigm of Purity, and Little-Known Eligibility Cases

by Moshe Burt

The positioning in Torah of our Parsha Emor, following last week’s Parsha Kedoshim gives rise to thought and contemplation. In the previous 2 twin Parshas; Acharei Mos and Kedoshim, and Tazria and Metzora before them, we learn about the Kohen as the only one Divinely invested with ruling as to Tumah or Ta’Hara regarding ones’ skin, hair, clothing or homes as well as with being the vehicle for Yom Kippur avodah in the Kadosh Kedoshim and as the model of Darchim for the entire B’nai Yisrael to ideally emulate as a model for all mankind. [...]  Click here to read more.

Parshat Kedoshim 5771: The Jewish Nation – Unity, Protexia or Me First and Only?

by Moshe Burt

One of the main themes underlying Parsha Kedoshim is the loving care with which each Jew is to treat his Jewish brother. Indeed, we see that the first posuk of our Parsha conveys that spirit, “Hashem spoke to Moshe saying, “Speak to the entire assembly of B’nai Yisrael and say to them: You shall be holy, for holy am I, Hashem, your G’d.” (Sefer Vayikra, Perek 19, posuk 1) Our Parsha then goes on to enumerate the Asseret HaDivrot, the Ten Commandments in depth.

But the spirit of our Parsha is best expressed by the principle taught by Rabbi Hillel to the convert, on one foot, that the entire Torah can be summed up with this one key concept whch says “V’ohavta L’rei’achaoh Komochah” — “… you shall love your fellow as yourself…” (Sefer Vayikra, Perek 19, posuk 18); to want for your fellow Jew what you would want for yourself, to not do to your fellow Jew what you would not want to happen to youself. [...]  Click here to read more.

Dayenu 5771: Taking the Korban Pesach; Its Contemporary Sequels in Kindness, Emunah?

by Moshe Burt

This year will mark sixeen years, and my thirteenth Pesach in Eretz Yisrael, in which I have emailed, as it has become tradition with me from prior to my Aliyah, the rendition of Dayenu quoted from the book “Dear Brothers.” In each year, Dayenu holds a unique perspective, unlike the perspective of any previous year.

Each year, this author puts forth factors that relate to the state of B’nai Yisrael — right here and right now. And so, the lessons of Dayenu are vital now, just as they were in the first year that I emailed this vort out or, for that matter, as vital as they were when it was quoted in Segal’s compilation of the book in its copyright year 1988. [...]  Click here to read more.

Parshat Acharei Mos 5771: The Kohen Gadol’s Clothing of National Atonement

by Moshe Burt

Parshiyot Acharei Mos and Kedoshim are normally what baseball fans refer to as another of the “doubleheader” parshiyot — but not in this year of 2 Adars. And just as Parshiyot Tazria and Metzora are extensions of each other, visa vi Tumah and Ta’Hara regarding post-birth, regarding skin, hair, clothing or regarding one’s home or building; Acharei Mos and Kedoshim are extensions of each other regarding Kohanim, Yom Kippur, the Kohen’s Yom Kippur avodah in the Kadosh Kedoshim and the Kohanic model of Darchim, which ideally the entire B’nai Yisrael would embrace and exhibit as a paradigm, as model, as a light for all mankind. [...]  Click here to read more.