“Shabbat Shalom” – Beshalach 5778

Parshat Beshalach (Exodus 13:17-17:16) Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel — “And when Israel saw the great hand that God had wielded against the Egyptians, the people feared God; they had faith in God and in His servant, Moses” [Ex. 14:31]. Why does the heart of the Haggadah almost completely omit mention of Moses, limiting him to one “cameo” …

“Parsha to the Point” – Beshalach 5778

Parshat Beshalach (Exodus 13:17-17:16)  Rabbi David Stav  Many refer to this Shabbat as Shabbat Shira – the Sabbath of Song ­– on account of Shirat Hayam ­– the song of exhilaration sung by the Israelites at the Reed Sea, which appears in this week’s Torah portion, Beshalach. The time for celebration and joy has arrived, and the people …

“Parsha to the Point” – Bo 5778

Parshat Bo (Exodus 10:1-13:16)  Rabbi David Stav  The saga of the exodus from Egypt reaches a climax in this week’s portion, Bo. After Egypt endures nine plagues in the course of one year, the Egyptians now face the final and most agonizing of them, the Plague of the Firstborn. The Torah provides a concise, piercing and decisive description of …

“Parsha to the Point” – Vaera 5778

Parshat Vaera (Exodus 6:2-9:35)  Rabbi David Stav  Last week, as we began the Book of Exodus, we read anew about how the People of Israel became enslaved by Pharaoh. Their conditions worsened with time, but Moshe, chosen by God to speak to the king’s heart, hoped that the despotic ruler would allow the Israelites to leave his land, even if for …

“Shabbat Shalom” – Vaera 5778

Parshat Vaera (Exodus 6:2-9:35) Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel — “These are Aaron and Moses, whom God has said are to take out the People of Israel from the land of Egypt…they are Moses and Aaron” [Ex. 6:26-27]. By virtue of an acclaimed Broadway production of recent vintage, many have come to a renewed appreciation of the fascinating …

“Parsha to the Point” – Shemot 5778

Parshat Shemot (Exodus 1:1-6:1)  Rabbi David Stav  Out of terrible human tragedies can come the most remarkable universal examples of heroism and humanity. Such is the case in Parshat Shemot. Curiously, although the Torah condenses hundreds of years of slavery and suffering at the hands of the Egyptians into a mere ten verses, it dedicates many dozens …

“Parsha to the Point” – Vayakhel-Pekudei 5777

Parshat Vayakhel-Pekudei (Exodus 35:1 – 40:38) Rabbi David Stav  Vayakhel and Pekudei, this week’s double Torah portion, contain an elaborate depiction of the Mishkan [Sanctuary] and its vessels, instructions for how we are to obtain the funds needed for building the structure, the production blueprints, and a detailed description of the service …