Parshat Bo 5771: Tangible Darkness, Supernal Light, and Its Message to Jews, to the Nations

by Moshe Burt

Parshat Bo is the one which, for me, annually relates to that crazy tune which played back “in the Old Country” a few decades ago, “Does Your Korbon Pesach Lose It’s Flavor Tied to the Bedpost Overnight?” (Actually, the real title to the song was “Does Your Chewing Gum Lose It’s Flavor on the Bedpost Overnight?”)

Over the years, this author has opened with this nutty parody because it cuts right to the chase, to the very heart of our Parsha. That is the Mitzvot of taking the Korbon Pesach, applying the da’am on Jewish doorposts, the going up from Mitzrayim (Egypt) to “…a land flowing with milk and honey …” and the first mitzvah commanded of the National entity (B’nai Yisrael), the Kiddush HaChodesh — the sanctification of the New Moon and the relevance today of these mitzvot which relate to emunah (belief in) and yirat (fear of) Hashem.  [...]  Click here to read more.

Parshat Va’era 5771: The Roots of Disconnection From Jewish Power Sources — Then and Now

by Moshe Burt

At the conclusion of Parsha Shemos, Moshe and Aaron are confronted, upon exiting Pharoah’s Palace, by the B’nai Yisrael who are in deeper despair than before because of the increased workload, i.e. finding their own straw while the quotas remain the same, which resulted from Pharoah’s fury at Moshe’s first effort to secure their freedom and exit from Mitzrayim.

Our Parsha begins with the dialogue which Moshe Rebbeinu has with Hashem prior to again speaking to the B’nai Yisrael. And so, after Hashem rebukes Moshe for his complaint and reassures him that redemption is at hand, Moshe again addresses the B’nai Yisrael as to his meeting with Pharoah; [...]  Click here to read more.

Parshat Shemos 5771: Assimilation and the Evolution of Jewish Enslavement — In Mitzrayim, and Now (?)

by Moshe Burt

To sufficiently comprehend the evolution of the enslavement of B’nai Yisrael in Mitzriyim, it would seem that one needs to comprehend the closed nature of the two preceding Parshiyot; the concluding posuk of Vayigash;

And Yisrael dwelt in the land of Mitzriyim in the land of Goshen, and they acquired property in it and… multiplied greatly

and the first posuk of Vayechi;

And Yaakov lived in the land of Mitzrayim for seventeen years…

We need to understand the gist of the Kli Yekar; that the Sh’vatim, the Am, knowing that they were to be in Mitzriyim for a definite period of time beyond their lifetimes thus perceived a permanence. Therefore, they adapted themselves to living in Mitzriyim long-term and were thus vulnerable to Mitzri “encouragement” to melt, to assimilate into Mitzri society, to work for the nation, etc. The B’nai Yisrael began to accumulate wealth, land, assets, material possessions as they grew in numbers from 70 souls to 600,000 during Yaakov’s 17 years in Mitzrayim, as stated in the Judaica Press Chumash volume 3 re: Parsha Vayechi.  [...]  Click here to read more.

Parshat Vayechi 5771: Yaakov, The Sh’vatim and The End of Days — Expanded

by Moshe Burt

Last year, this author heard a vort on Parshat Vayechi at a Thursday night Mishmar which could be understood to amplify on a topic repeated on this blog numerous times over the years — that Jewish unity is prerequisite to bringing about a Halachic, Just State of Israel, the prerequisite to bringing about the Geula Shlaima — the Ultimate Redemption.

On last week’s Parshat Vayigash, this author spoke about Yosef’s treatment of the brothers, i.e. the bogus espionage charges, compelling the delivery of Binyamin to him, about the frame job of having the Viceroy’s cup planted in Binyamin’s possession, and the resultant Teshuvah by Yehuda and the other brothers. And it was noted that the Teshuvah and resultant unity amongst the brothers is seen as a paradigm for what is needed to heal today’s wounds caused by the gradual fractionalization and polarization which peaked with the expulsion of Jews from their land, their homes, their communities, shuls and parnossa (jobs, businesses, etc.) and which continues and grows to this day, including amongst one sector toward the other(s) in the religious word. [...]  Click here to read more.

Parsha Vayigash 5771: Yosef, the Brothers and Real Teshuvah

Moshe Burt

There was an Israel National News report last week about how former IDF Chief Rabbi Yisrael Weiss expressed regret at having supported the expulsion, or as they call it the “disengagement.”

Rabbi Weiss expressed the following:

“Rabbi Yisrael Weiss, former IDF Chief Rabbi, has expressed regret over his role in the 2005 “Disengagement” from Gaza and northern Samaria. At the time, Rabbi Weiss came out against refusing orders, saying that IDF soldiers who are told to expel Jews from their homes by force must do so.”  [...]  Click here to read more.