Parshat Va’etchanan 5772 — Consolation: Maintaining Hope After Jew Expelled Jew?

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.

Parshat Devarim 5772: Why We are Here and Taking Back Israel

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. We learned from last week’s doubleheader Parshiyot Matos/Masei that the B’nai Yisrael learns that Moshe would not be leading the B’nai Yisrael into Eretz Yisrael. And this author asked if it was that this recognition sunk into the collective consciousness of B’nai Yisrael and they realized, as the oft-recorded 80’s disco tune went, “You don’t know what you got ’til you lose it”? And what, if any, are comparable lessons to be learned in our contemporary generations? [...]  Click here to read more.

Parsha Matos/Masei 5772: The Jews Finally Accept Moshe as Hashem’s Annointed Leader — Why Only Now?

by Moshe Burt

Parshiyot Balak and Pinchas seem to represent a watershed event in the history of B’nai Yisrael. As noted, 1/3 of B’nai Yisrael died either by the hand of the Judges, or by way of the plague which struck some 24,000 jewish men who partook in the Midianite/Moabite bazaar. It couldn’t have gotten much worse, there was only one way for B’nai Yisrael to go from there — Up!

We find that after the rock-bottom event of the Ba’al Pe’or, the B’nai Yisrael finally, unequivocably recognized Moshe Rabbeinu as their leader, as HaKadosh Borchu’s Annointed . The question is; Why only now did the Jews only now finally accept Moshe as Hashem’s Annointed Leader and quit squabbling and rebelling? Was there something connecting the timing of this recognition with acquisition of the knowledge that Moshe would not be leading the B’nai Yisrael into Eretz Yisrael? Was it that this recognition sunk into the collective consciousness of B’nai Yisrael and they realized, as the oft-recorded 80s disco tune went, “You don’t know what you got ’til you lose it”? And what, if any, are comparable lessons to be learned in our contemporary generations? [...]  Click here to read more.

Parsha Pinchas 5772: About the Magnitude of the Sin Compelling Pinchas’ Zealousness

by Moshe Burt

We learned in Parsha Balak that Bila’am’s scheme to seduce Jewish men to avodah zora by way of immorality (co-habitation) resulted in a plague which killed 24,000 Jewish men until Pinchas’ act brought the plague to a halt. However, Bamidbar, Perek 25, posuk 4 and 5 read;

And Hashem, said to Moshe: Take all of the chiefs of the people, and hang them up unto the Hashem in the face of the sun, that (there) may turn away the fierce anger of Hashem from Israel. And Moshe said unto the judges of Israel: Slay you every one his men that have joined themselves unto the Ba’al Peor. [...]  Click here to read more.