Parshat Shoftim 5773: Justice in Judgement and Paradigm Criteria for Kingship Over Am Yisrael

Shalom Friends;

This week, our Parshat HaShevua is being sponsored by Dr. Ari and Rivka Stern of Ramat Beit Shemesh in honor of the Bar Mitzvah of their son Chaim Tzvi. To the Stern family, many thanks for your sponsorship and continued kindnesses.

You can celebrate a Simcha — a birth, a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, a Chassuna or other Simcha event in your life, or commemorate a Yahrtzeit of a loved one, or for whatever other reason by sponsoring (or as the case may be, co-sponsoring) a Parshat HaShevua. Please be in contact with me with any questions, or for further details. [...]  Click here to read more.

Parshat R’ei 5773 — Chessed, Kindness vs the Seemingly Neverending Plight of Our Expelled Brethren

by Moshe Burt

This vort is deemed by this author as worthy of repeating with some embellishments. According to Rashi, Moshe Rabbeinu begins our Parshat R’ei by informing the B’nei Yisrael about the Brachot (blessings) and Klalot (curses) to be pronounced to them from Mount Gerizim and Mount Eval upon their entry to Eretz Yisrael.

Moshe Rabbeinu continues his mussar saying:

“Behold, I set before you … a blessing and a curse; the blessing if you heed the commandments of Hashem, and the curse, if you will not observe his commandments. (Sefer Devarim, Perek 11, posukim 26-27)  [...]  Click here to read more.

Parsha Eikev 5773: The Eikev Mitzvot — Justifying B’nei Yisrael’s Plea for the Ge’ula?

by Moshe Burt

Sefer Shem Mishmuel (by R’ Shmuel Bornstein, as translated by R’ Zvi Belovski, pages 386-387) renders translation of the opening posuk of Parsha Eikev:

“And it shall come to pass, if you listen to these mishpatim (ordinances) and you guard them and do them, that Hashem Ke’ilokecha will guard the convenant for you and the kindness which He swore to your forefathers.” (Sefer Devarim Perek 7, posuk 12)

Bearing this in mind, the Stone Chumash (Parshat Eikev pages 980-981) equates Eikev: [...]  Click here to read more.

Parshat Va’etchanan 5773 — Consolation: Maintaining Hope, Sanctity and Elevation After Jew Expelled Jew?

Shalom Friends;

This week, our Parshat HaShevua is being sponsored by David and Julie Morris of Ramat Beit Shemesh in honor of the upcoming
Chassuna of their son Shimshon Raphael to Avia Tzairi from Givat Shmuel. To the Morris family, many thanks for your sponsorship and continued kindnesses.

You can celebrate a Simcha — a birth, a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, a Chassuna or other Simcha event in your life, or commemorate a Yahrtzeit of a loved one, or for whatever other reason by sponsoring (or as the case may be, co-sponsoring) a Parshat HaShevua. Please be in contact with me with any questions, or for further details. [...]  Click here to read more.

Parshat Devarim 5773: Bridging Written and Oral Torah 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.

Shem Mishmuel (Selections on the weekly parshiyot and festivals rendered to English by Rabbi Zvi Belovski) writes (page 373):

This book is qualitatively different from the other four. Chazal tell us (in Megillah, page 31b) that the curses in Sefer Devarim were said by Moshe himself. We may assume… that the material in Devarim, while of course presented by Hashem to Moshe, contains more human input, however slight, than the previous four books. Perhaps it can be considered an in-between stage, bridging the gap between the main Written Torah… and the Oral Torah. Devarim contains elements of both — it is the written word of Hashem…, but with an element of human content, like [oral] Torah. [...]  Click here to read more.

Parsha Matos/Masei 5773: The Jews’ FINALLY Accept Moshe as Hashem’s Annointed Leader and Connecting with Eretz Yisrael

by Moshe Burt

Our twin-bill Parshiyot Matos/Masei actually deals with two linked points: B’nai Yisrael’s belated unequivocal acceptance of Moshe as their Divinely Annointed Leader and with the ideal of a Jew’s love, dedication and connection with Eretz Yisrael.

Parshiyot Balak and Pinchas seem to represent a watershed event in the history of B’nai Yisrael. As noted in Parshat Pinchas, it appears that 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! [...]  Click here to read more.