Pesach 5770: Feeling the Hebrew Mindset of Mitzrayim

by Moshe Burt

Our Rabbanim inform us that for the Pesach Seder to have meaning, beyond the external, superficial or by-rote ritual, we have to feel ourselves as if in Mitzrayim; the oppression, the being put upon, the slave labor and persecution soo overpowering and all-pervasive that we lose the will and the capability of verbally communication; what Shem Mishmuel (Shem Mishmuel p. 225) calls the “blocked channel between speech and nefesh.”

Before a previous Pesach, this author addressed the personal framing of Yetzi’at Mitzrayim in historical terms and relating to the blanks regarding family life — parent-child relations, education, shidduchim, etc. [...]  Click here to read more.

Parsha Tzav 5770: Jewish Constancy or Rote and Complacency?

by Moshe Burt

In our Parsha, Tzav is Moshe’s command from Hashem to Aaron HaKohen and his sons to take up and clothe themselves in their Vestments, their garments of service in the Mishkan, and to begin their daily Avodah (service and offerings in the Mishkan).

For seven days, Moshe taught Aaron HaKohen and his sons the laws of their Avodah in the Mishkan. (You might say that they were given, as they term it in the US, OJT from Shemayim.) On the eighth day, Aaron and his sons began their Avodah. [...]  Click here to read more.

Dayenu 5770: The Korban Pesach; Its Modern-Day Versions?

by Moshe Burt

This year will mark fifteen years, and my twelfth 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.

You may note that much of the text is repetition. But if you take the time to read this post, this year and every year, you will see that which this author sees as factors in the state of B’nai Yisrael — right here and right now. [...]  Click here to read more.

Parsha Vayikra 5770: Recognizing True, Strong, Yet Humble Leaders From Frauds

By Moshe Burt

The first word of our parsha; Vayikra begs discussion of why the small “aleph” in Vayikra, and tells much about Moshe Rabbeinu’s level of principle, integrity and his standard of leadership of B’nei Yisrael.

We are told how Hashem, Kav’yochal, would call gently, affectionately “Moshe, Moshe” in a voice for Moshe Rabbeinu’s ears only and Moshe would respond “Here I am.” (Rashi on Perek 1, posuk 1 Metsuda Linear Chumash & Rashi with footnotes)  [...]  Click here to read more.

Parshiyot Vayakhel/Pekudei 5770: Shabbos, the Mishkan and Accountability of National Leadership

by Moshe Burt

The terms leadership, accountability and transparency have often been bandied about in contemporary Medinat Yisrael where dedication, diligence and overriding concern for the welfare of the Kahal have often been wanting as compared with the influence, enrichment, protexia and political agendization of the few, the privileged, the elitists.

Our Parsha Vayakhel is dedicated to teaching B’nai Yisrael about Shabbos which has always, until recent times, been the unifying, defining factor of Judaism. It alludes to all else — Yishuv HaAretz, Kiddushin, etc. It symbolizes the Jew’s faith in Hashem. The parsha begins by stating that “Moshe assembled the entire congregation of B’nai Yisrael…” (Perek 35, Posuk 1) However, Torah’s loshen (language) “Adat B’nai Yisrael”, in the context of learning the laws of Shabbos as related to the construction of the Mishkan, seems to indicate a unity, as one, amongst the Assembly of the B’nai Yisrael. [...]  Click here to read more.