Parshat Terumah 5773: The Mishkan, Terumah and the Meaning of a “Crown of a Good Name”

Shalom Friends;

This week, our Parsha HaShevua is being sponsored annonymously by an individual or organization called “The Jewish Heart.” Many thanks for your kindness.

Best Regards,

Moshe Burt

by, Moshe Burt

Back in Philadelphia, in the “old country”, R’ Moshe Ungar would speak about the Mizbeiyach in terms of both the Beit HaMikdash and in terms of the personal Mizbeiyach which burns eternally in our hearts. And there is the well-known wish to a Chosson and Kallah that the fire of their personal Mizbeiyach burn eternally. [...]  Click here to read more.

Parshat Mishpatim 5773: Justice, Truth in Unbaised Judgement — by Judges and by Us

by Moshe Burt

Yishai Chasidah’s Encyclopedia of Biblical Jewish Personalities (pages 306-309) provides a fitting introduction to parsha Mishpatim in citing an example of how Yithro, for whom our previous parsha was named, was positioned and merited to express insights to Moshe Rabbeinu which were crucial to the evolution of Torah’s judiciary system. Chasidah cites Midrash HaGodol on BaMidbar (perek 10, posuk 30) which gives insight into Yithro’s righteousness, kindness and integrity. After a drought year, Yithro stated; [...]  Click here to read more.

Parshat Yithro 5773: Yithro’s True Motivation for Joining B’nai Yisrael? What It Means Today?

by Moshe Burt

We learn that when Yithro had heard all that Hashem had done for B’nai Yisrael, he left Midian with Tzippora and Moshe’s two sons and went to join with the Jews. Sefer Shemos, Perek 18, posuk 9 states “Vayichad Yithro” which Rashi renders as Yithro “rejoiced” at seeing B’nai Yisrael free of Mitzri bondage, at seeing K’riyat Yom Suf and at B’nai Yisrael’s victory over Amalek.

Why was it that Yithro sought to join B’nai Yisrael? We are not absolutely certain as to whether any one specific event Yithro heard triggered him to circumcize himself and to go out to join the B’nai Yisrael, or if there was one specific event, which exact event it was, or whether it was the sum total of all he had heard which convinced him to become a Jew. [...]  Click here to read more.

Parshat Beshalach 5773: Shirat HaYam and Moshe’s Leadership Paradigm of Inspiration, Unity, Empathy: Applied Today?

by Moshe Burt

Near the end of our Parsha, we read:

“And the hands of Moshe were heavy and they took a rock and placed it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Chur supported his hands, one on either side, and his hands remained an expression of trust until sunset.” (Sefer Sh’mos, Perek 17, posuk 12)

Rabbi Pliskin in Growth Through Torah cites a Rashi which states;

“…Moshe did not sit on a comfortable pillow, but a rock. There was a battle going on with Amalek and Moshe wanted to feel the suffering of the people. This, said Rabbi Yeruchem Levovitz, is a lesson in feeling for another person’s suffering. Not only should we mentally feel their pain, but it is proper to do some action in order to feel some of the discomfort yourself when someone else experiences pain. This way [through empathy] you actually feel his pain.” (Growth Through Torah, Rabbi Zelig Pliskin, page 177, citing from Daas Torah, page 152)  [...]  Click here to read more.

Parshat Bo 5773: Bris Milah, Korban Pesach and Their Message to B’nai Yisrael

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 to the relevance to the National entity (B’nai Yisrael) then, as well as today, and to the relevance of these mitzvot which relate to emunah (belief in) and yirat (fear of) Hashem.  [...]  Click here to read more.

Parshat Va’era 5773: HaKarat HaTov – Appreciation, and It’s Limits?

by Moshe Burt

In “Torah Tapestries on Sefer Shemos,” Parshat Va’era, Rebbetzin Shira Smiles’ takes up a theme (pages 13-17) concerning “Learning to Appreciate.”

Rebbetzin Smiles writes:

Before the first plague, blood, Hashem commanded Moshe Rabbeinu to first warn Pharoah of the impending plague…. If Hashem told Moshe to warn Pharoah that he was going to hit the water, we would expect the next instruction to read “And if Pharoah refuses, then you shall raise your staff and strike the water. ” But that’s not what Hashem said. [...]  Click here to read more.