Parsha R’ei 5770 — The Kindness of Chessed and the Continuing Plight of the Expelled

by Moshe Burt

According to Rashi, Moshe Rabbeinu begins our Parsha R’ei by informing the B’nei Yisrael about the blessing and the curse to be pronounced to them upon their entry to Eretz Yisrael from Mount Gerizim and Mount Eval.

Moshe Rabbeinu continues his mussar saying:

“Behold, I set before you … a blessing and a curse; the blessing if you heed the commandments of Hashem, and the curse, if you will not observe his commandments. (Sefer Devarim, Perek 11, posukim 26-27)

Toward the end of the parsha, we are informed: [...]  Click here to read more.

Parsha Eikev 5770: Has Abject Failure with the Eikev Mitzvot Held Back the Geula?

by Moshe Burt

The beginning of Parsha Eikev is equated in terms of one’s being attentive to the little Mitzvot; the details, the Mitzvot that one tends to overlook, to ignore, to tread one’s heels on in the mad dash, but without which the Jewish people would lack the merit which sets us apart from common man. The little mitzvot, the small details are the ones epitomized by V’Ahavtah L’re’echa Komocha — caring for your fellow Jew as for yourself.

Later in the Parsha, there are these posukim: [...]  Click here to read more.

Parsha Va’etchanan 5770 — Consolation: After Expulsion of Jews by Israeli Governance?

by Moshe Burt

The Haftorah for our Parsha begins, “Nachamu, Nachamu Ami yomar Elokeichem” — “Comfort, comfort my people — says your G’d.” (Yishaiya, 40:1) This sentiment seems to be silent, but yet a theme of Parsha Va’etchanan.

In the beginning of Parsha, Moshe Rabbeinu recalls for the B’nai Yisrael how he entreated Hashem for permission to cross the Jordan River but that his request was denied. Instead, he was consoled by viewing the Land from Mount Pisgah. (L’lmod Ul’Lamed – Parsha Va’etchanan, page 161) [...]  Click here to read more.

Devarim 5770: What it Takes to Bring True Jewish Leadership and it’s Applications

by Moshe Burt

A number of years ago, Rav Aba Wagensberg spoke out in a shiur that Sefer Devarim represents Moshe Rabbeinu’s Mussar to B’nai Yisrael as the time of his death drew near.

He explained that near the end of Sefer BaMidbar, we began to see indications, via the story of Zelafchad’s daughters, Reuven and Gad’s desire to settle east of the Jordan, etc., that the B’nai Yisrael finally desired to accept Moshe Rabbeinu’s teachings and his Mussar which was meant to bring about the perfection of the Jewish people in emulation of the ways of Hashem as they were about to enter Eretz Yisrael. [...]  Click here to read more.

Parsha Matos/Masei 5770: Remaining “in Peace” Rather Than Jealously Possessing the Entirety of Eretz Yisrael

by Moshe Burt

In Parsha Matos, Sh’vatim Gad and Reuven approached Moshe Rabbeinu regarding their desire to graze their flocks and settle their families on the East side of the Yarden. To this, Moshe Rabbeinu replied, “Shall your brothers go off to war, and shall you sit here?” (Sefer Bamidbar, Perek 32, posuk 6)

Moshe was quite angry at the two Sh’vatim. He was concerned lest Gad and Reuven would avoid taking part in the wars for Eretz Yisrael, that other Sh’vatim might follow suit and B’nai Yisrael might be condemned to wandering in the desert another 40 years. [...]  Click here to read more.