Succot 5773: Moshiach, Redemption — Are We Systemically Programmed for Personal, Collective Success or Failure? Revisited and Updated

by Moshe Burt

Having emerged from Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur and, hopefully we have all been inscribed and sealed for a happy, healthy, successful and meaningful year and years ahead, we find ourselves in the midst of Succot.

During Succot, the B’nai Yisrael, as an Am Segula (a nation apart and unique from the other nations), as Hashem’s special, chosen people, visit, bond, and celebrate our special and unique relationship with HaKodosh Borchu.

Prominent in our thoughts during Succot are the Haftorahs which the prophecy of the War of Gog and Magog, Moshiach, the Ge’ula Shlaima (the Redemption) and the rebuilding of the Beit HaMikdash are pronounced. Or, as the expression goes among baseball fans each springtime — right down to the fans of the most hapless MLB team; “Hope springs eternal!” [...]  Click here to read more.

Yom Kippur 5773: Kannoi’yim, Unity, Yom Kippur and the Galbanum of Ketores Revisited and Updated

by Moshe Burt

Having just come through Yom Kippur, this author thought to reflect on our tefillot and our process of teshuvah. There is d’var Torah by the Shem Mishmuel (Sefer Shem Mishmuel, Rabbi Shmuel Bornstein, translated to English by Rabbi Zvi Belovski, pages 440-441). The thoughts expressed by the Shem Mishmuel seem particularly pertinent this Yom Kippur, with emphasis locally, as well as throughout the Jewish world.

In this d’var, Shem Mishmuel cites Moshe Rabbeinu’s final address to the B’nei Yisrael (Devarim, Perek 29, posukim 9-10): [...]  Click here to read more.

Parsha Ha’azinu 5773: Heaven and Earth — History and Witnesses, Guarantors of Hashem’s Covenant with Israel — Then and Now?

by Moshe Burt

Shem Mishmuel describes Ha’azinu as;

A poem which Moshe Rabbeinu recited to Klal Yisrael… It discusses the uniqueness of Klal Yisrael, their future, how they should conduct themselves, how they will stray, and how Hashem will treat them mercifully. (Shem Mishmuel, Rabbi Shmuel Bornstein, Parsha Ha’azinu, pge 433)

He further indicates that there has been connection, since the Mabul — “the great Flood” — between the original 70 souls of B’nai Yisrael and the 70 primary nations which emerged after the Mabul to where the B’nai Yisrael, were each to achieve their individual spiritual potential and righteousness, it would impact the rectification of the nations to which each were connected. [...]  Click here to read more.

Rosh Hashana 5773: Contrasting The Supreme King, The Destitute King

by Moshe Burt

This Vort for the Chaggim starts out about nine days ago at Rabbi Barak Saffer’s home on Shabbos Parshat Ki Tavo. Rabbi Saffer, by the way, is Maggid Shiur at Yeshiva Mivaserret, just outside Yerushalayim. Along with Rav Saffer’s family and this author were a few of his Talmidim from the Yeshiva. After dinner was concluded, Rav Saffer held a Tish with the the Talmidim and myself.

During the Tish, Rav Saffer cited a gemara as follows:

Yishmael ben Elisha Kohen HaGadol was in the Kadosh Kedoshim (Holy of Holies) on Yom Kippur. And Hashem, Kovei’yokhel (as He was), spoke to him asking for a Brakha. A Brakha? How does Hashem, our Creator, the Ruler of the World who sustains everything, animate and inanimate mili-second by mili’second — How does Hashem need a Brakha from man? And there is even another gemara which comes down hard and disparagingly about one who would utter a statement “All good men will bless You!” Hashem “needs” our Brakhot? But there is another understanding regarding Hashem’s request of Yishmael ben Elisha Kohen HaGadol as the latter served Hashem in the Kadosh Kedoshim on Yom Kippur. That understanding is: Hashem wants, needs to hear the Tefillot of the Kohen HaGadol, on behalf of His Treasured Nation — Klal Yisrael, in the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur. And He wants and needs to hear the fervent tefillot and Teshuva of Kol Klal Yisrael. But anyone who reads this author realizes that there’s much more to this story. [...]  Click here to read more.

Parshat Vayeilech 5773: The Message of the Mitzvah of Hakhel

by Moshe Burt

Parsha Vayeilech comes to speak at length about the Mitzvah of Hakhel — the communal gathering which took place every seven years; that is at the beginning of the year following the end of the Sh’mittah year and where Sefer Devarim is read through to the end of Shema, the second paragraph and through to Perek 28, posuk 69 which is in Parshat Ki Tavo.

The Hakhel is a Mitzvah dating back to Moshe Rabbeinu’s mussar talk on the last day of his life when he convened the entire nation; men, women and children — from the wealthiest to the most itinerant woodchopper, to the Ger[...]  Click here to read more.

Parshiyot Nitzavim 5772: Jews Taking Mutual, Collective Responsibility — Key to The Ge’ula?

by Moshe Burt

Our Parsha Nitzavim opens with Moshe Rabbeinu addressing the B’nai Yisrael on the final day of his life:

“Atem Nitzavim HaYom… You are standing today, all of you, before Hashem, your G’d…. for you to pass into the convenant of Hashem, …that Hashem… seals with you today in order to establish you as a people to Him and that He be a G’d to you as He spoke to you and as He swore to your forefathers, to Avraham, to Yitzchak and to Yaakov.” (Artscroll Stone Edition Chumash, Sefer Devarim Perek 29, posukim 9-13) [...]  Click here to read more.