portion of the week

Parshat Vayera: What could be greater than meeting Hashem Himself?

Bezalel Safra photographed by Rony Nathan

Parshat Vayera: What could be greater than meeting Hashem Himself?   Do you greet your neighbor warmly when you meet him or her? Do you greet the security guard at the shopping mall without being prompted to do so? Our forefather Abraham treated even the lowliest of people with respect, even though he had more than enough …

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“Shabbat Shalom” – Parshat Vayera 5780

Shabbat Shalom: Vayera (Genesis 18:1-22:24) By Rabbi Shlomo Riskin    Efrat, Israel – One of the most difficult stories of the Bible – and certainly the complex highlight of Vayera – is the “binding” (and near slaughter) of Isaac, but the tale preceding it may legitimately be called the “binding” (near death) of Ishmael. This …

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Parshat Lech Lecha: Moving Forward and Developing Constantly

Parshat Lech Lecha: Avraham’s way is about going forward and constantly developing It is no coincidence that the term halakha is used to denote the path a Jew is commanded to take.  This is the path we tread, the path along which we develop. We don’t remain “boxed-in” or adhere to norms. This is a …

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“Shabbat Shalom” – Parshat Lech Lecha 5780

Shabbat Shalom: Lech Lecha (Genesis 12:1-17:27) By Rabbi Shlomo Riskin    Efrat, Israel – “And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew: now he dwelt by the oaks of Mamre, the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner; and these were confederate with Abram.” (Genesis 14:13) “Go away, for your …

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Parshat Noach: Seven Times the Righteous Man Falls and Gets Up

Rabbi Shlomo Vilk

Parshat Noach: Seven times the righteous man falls and gets up  Time and time again, the Almighty God proves to us we must allow our weaknesses to show, that we must admit our sins, that there are no perfectly righteous people, and that there is no one opinion in the Torah. Anywhere anyone tries to …

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“Shabbat Shalom” – Parshat Noach 5780

Shabbat Shalom: Noach (Genesis 6:9-11:32) By Rabbi Shlomo Riskin    Efrat, Israel – “Noah, the man of the earth, drank of the wine, became drunk, and uncovered himself within his tent. Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father’s nakedness and told his two brothers outside.” (Genesis 9:20-22)  The name Canaan appears for the first …

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“Shabbat Shalom” – Parshat Bereishit 5780

Shabbat Shalom: Bereishit (Genesis 1:1-6:8) By Rabbi Shlomo Riskin    Efrat, Israel – “And God saw everything that He had made and behold it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31) A sensitive reading of the biblical description of the creation of the world forces the reader to come to some understanding of the relationship between Judaism …

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Parshat Bereishit: Similar or Unique?

Rav Boaz Pash

Parshat Bereishit: Similar or Unique? Rabbi Boaz Pash is the Rosh Kollel of the Joseph and Gwendolyn Straus Rabbinical Seminary‘s Torat Yosef Kollel Are we humans more alike, or more different from one another? To put it another way: do we spend more time looking for our differences or our similarities? To our dismay, we are, on the …

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Why did Shemini Atzeret Become Simchat Torah?

Rabbanit Sally Mayer

Why did Shemini Atzeret Become Simchat Torah? Rabbanit Sally Mayer is Rosh Midrasha of the Maria and Joel Finkle Overseas Program at Midreshet Lindenbaum The Torah describes Succot repeatedly as a seven–day holiday (Vayikra 23, Bemidbar 29, Devarim 16). Yet the pesukim add that the eighth day will be “atzeret,” literally “stopping” or “gathering,” to be celebrated …

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“Shabbat Shalom” – Sukkot 5780

Shabbat Shalom: Chol HaMoed Sukkot By Rabbi Shlomo Riskin    Efrat, Israel – One of the most picturesque and creative festivals of the year is the Festival of Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles) – when the entire family is involved in building and decorating a special “nature home” which will be lived in for an entire …

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Parshat Haazinu: “Great is this song”

Yael Tawil

Parashat Haazinu: “Great is this Song” On Rosh Hashana, we want Hashem’s heavenly kingship to be revealed in our world, and on Yom Kippur, to elevate our world toward heaven. Thoughts on the connection between Shirat Haazinu and the High Holy Days Yael Tawil is the Principal of Ohr Torah Stone’s Jennie Sapristein Junior High …

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“Shabbat Shalom” – Parshat Haazinu 5780

Shabbat Shalom: Haazinu (Deuteronomy 32:1-32:52) By Rabbi Shlomo Riskin    Efrat, Israel – “The Lord remembered Sarah as he had promised… Sarah conceived and bore a son…” (Genesis 21:1- 2)  Rosh Hashanah always portends new beginnings and fresh opportunities: “This day the world was born,” or at least the world beckons with possibilities of rebirth and …

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