Parshat Metzora 5771: Gauging the Sincerity of Individual/National Teshuvah

by Moshe Burt

In most years, our Parsha Metzora is normally the twilight side of a Torah doubleheader parsha. But this is one of those Adar Bet years where these two normally inter-related Parshiyot stand on their own. As such, this Parsha HaShevua will deal with the sincerity of an individual’s rectification of the aveirah of loshen hora — Motziya rah [transliteration of the 2 words which form Metzora]: a slander <1>, and how this author views such rectification when it would seem required on a national scope. [...]  Click here to read more.

Parshat Tazria 5771: Manifestations of Ta’amei/Tahara on a Contemporary National Level

by Moshe Burt

In learning about the laws of tzara’as, we find posukim which are a pelah, a wonderment.

Torah relates in our Parsha;

“If the tzara’as will erupt on the skin, and … will cover the entire skin of the afflicted from his head to his feet, wherever the eyes of the Kohen can see — the Kohen shall look, and behold! — the affliction has covered his entire flesh, then he shall declare the affliction to be pure; having turned completely white, it is pure. On the day healthy skin appears …, it (the affliction) shall be contaminated.” (Sefer Vayikra, Perek 13, posukim 12 – 14) [...]  Click here to read more.

Parshat Shemini 5771: Kosher, Treif and Gauging the Sincerity of the Kehal’s Service

by Moshe Burt

After learning in Parsha Tzav that for seven days, Moshe taught Aaron HaKohen and his sons the laws of their Avodah (the Kohanic Service, i.e. in the Tabernacle and later in the Beit HaMikdash — ” The Temple”) in the Mishkan, our Parsha Shemini begins by relating that on the eighth day, Aaron and his sons commenced their Avodah HaKodosh (Holy Service). And it is interesting and ironic that our parsha is the other side of the term; “Tzav-Shemonah” which is the document or order issued by the Israel Defense Forces calling reservists to active duty in event of war.  [...]  Click here to read more.

Purim 5771: Jewish Unity in Our Times — What’s it Take?

by Moshe Burt

In writing a vort on Purim, this author keeps thinking back to a theme addressed in an earlier Siyum on Mesechta Megillah from a few years ago as well as another recurring theme on this blog.

The Jew separates and distinguishes himself from the rest of the nations through the Mitzvah of Bris Milah, even though many of our contemporary Jewish brothers would distance themselves from, or stand in denial of their Yiddishkeit. In short, many among our Jewish brethren would deny Hashem’s control of the world and seek to tailor Torah and their Jewishness to fit the ways of the nations rather than accepting Hashem’s reishut (command) over the world.  [...]  Click here to read more.

Parsha Tzav 5771: Jewish Constancy, or Rote, Complacency and Assimilation?

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.

We are taught in our Parsha about the two flames which burn continuously; the flickering light of the Menorah and the powerful flame of the Mizbeiyach (the altar where the various offerings to Hashem were brought). These two flames which burned constantly teach us that a balance must exist between strength and power and modesty and humility. These fires teach us about maintaining a consistency between enthusiasm and constancy. (L’lmod
Ul’Lamed, Rabbi Mordechai Katz, Parsha Tzav, page 103-104)  [...]  Click here to read more.