Parsha Toldos 5771: Yitzchak, Eisev and Modern-Day False Perceptions

by Moshe Burt

In considering Avraham Aveinu’s passing and his son Yitzchak’s aveilut (mourning) of his Father’s passing, there seem to be a number of burning questions which beg to be asked concerning the relationship between Yitzchak and Eisev.

In understanding that Eisev was largely able to camouflage his evil behind his ability to honor his Father, how is it that he (Eisev), this master of Kibud Av, is out running wild committing two of the Big 3 aveirot — Gilui Aroyot; violating a betrothed maiden, and murder; in chopping off Nimrod’s head and killing his (Nimrod’s) 2 guards on the day of his Father’s aveilut? [...]  Click here to read more.

Parsha Chayei Sarah 5771: Rivka’s Unconditional Kindness

by Moshe Burt

This author has written often about Rivka Imeinu’s qualities of having been raised and nurtured under Lavanite societal norms of deceit, cheating, conniving and stealing. We learn that Rivka rose above
these norms and was straight, honest, yet knew how to employ deceit for the good and right as with Yaakov, Eisev and Yitzchak’s Bracha.

But there is another side to Rivka Imeinu — the attribute of unconditional kindness. In speaking countless times about The Sefer Torah Recycling Network got its start, I tell how 16 years ago while speaking to a Rabbi back in Philadelphia about an event attended the night before where 2 people approached me about a town in Eretz Yisrael which needed a Sefer Torah and how my response was “no promises but will see what can be done.” As I told related this story, the Rabbi stopped me in mid-sentence saying, as with Eliezer and Rivka of our Parsha: [...]  Click here to read more.

Parsha Vayeira 5771: Stark Contrasts Between Actions of Avraham, Sodom and Israel 5771

by Moshe Burt

Our Parsha opens with Hashem, as we understand, visiting Avraham Aveinu on the 3rd day after Bris Milah, when Avraham was at the height of his pain following the circumcision, as Rashi indicates, “to inquire about his welfare.” (Metsuda Linear Chumash rendering of Rashi on Perek 18, posuk 1)

It’s not like Hashem needed to pay a visit to ascertain Avraham’s actual condition. Hashem is the Creator, The Master, The Ruler over the world who knows and is aware of everything. And so, as Hashem visited to inquire as to Avraham’s wellbeing, Avraham pardoned himself from Hashem when he spotted 3 travellers inviting them into his tent.  [...]  Click here to read more.

Parshat Lech Lecha 5771: Avraham Avinu, Jonathan Pollard and L’Shem Shemayim

by Moshe Burt

This author was on a roll in a friend’s Succah the night of the Yom Tov. During the seven days of Succot, we speak each day about one of the Seven Holy Men (Ushpizin) commemorated — Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov, Moshe, Aaron, Yosef and King David. In honor of Parshat Lech Lecha, an effort to recreate the off-the-cuff vort said on Avraham Avinu with a few embellishments, is made.

On the first night of Succot we commemorate, to parody Rowan and Martin’s ‘Laugh-In’ in the late 60s and early 70s, “The Man without whom the Jews wouldn’t be the Jews without the Jew — Avraham Avinu.”  [...]  Click here to read more.

Parshat Noach 5771: Compromised Principles and Perceived “Larger Cheshbonot”

by Moshe Burt

There is a Midrash Says at the end of Parsha Breish’t (pages 78-80) which is prelude to No’ach and the Mabul. It speaks about Hashem, as it were, Bemoaning His Making of man. The Melachim say to Hashem that they would do far better than man and would sanctify Hashem’s Name. So they came down and were more evil than man.

The Melachim were referred to in Torah as “the sons of judges”, “the lofty ones” for “they took for themselves wives from whomever they chose. And so Gilui Aroyot (coveting illicit intimacies) became the “right of passage” expected by the “lofty ones” — the powers to be of the era and this evil became institutionalized, [...]  Click here to read more.