portion of the week

Shabbat Shalom: Parshat Vayera (Genesis 18:1-22:24) By Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel – “And it came to pass…that God tested Abraham, saying to him, ‘Abraham,’ to which he responded, ‘Here I am!’ And He said, ‘Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, offering him there …

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Rabbi Shlomo Vilk

Still Relevant to Our Own Times Rabbi Shlomo Vilk is the Rosh Yeshiva of the Robert M. Beren Machanaim Hesder Yeshiva. The story could have played out differently.  Avraham could have turned to God in bewilderment with the question – how could God NOT destroy Sodom?  Where are You, the God who listens to all …

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RSR

Shabbat Shalom: Parshat Lech Lecha (Genesis 12:1-17:27) By Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel – “Now I know that you are a beautiful woman, when the Egyptians will see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife,’ and they will kill me, while they will keep you alive. Please say that you are my sister, so …

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Moriya Dayan

A Call for Constant Motion and Perpetual Progress Moriah Dayan is an attorney and rabbinical court advocate at OTS’s Yad La’isha: The Monica Dennis Goldberg Legal Aid Center and Hotline for Agunot The Torah portion Lech Lecha opens with the famous call to Avraham – “Go for yourself, out of your land, away from your …

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Bezalel Safra photographed by Rony Nathan

The Extraordinary Powers Within Us Rabbi Bezalel Safra is the Administrative Director of OTS’s Yachad Program for Jewish Identity. Are you able to bring down rain? Do people have the ability to impact on nature?  Surely that is impossible. However, a moment of reflection will reveal we actually do believe in this notion.  We even …

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Shabbat Shalom: Parshat Noach (Genesis 6:9-11:32) By Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel – “Come, let us go down, and there confound their language, so that they shall not understand one another’s speech” (Gen. 11:7). What is the connection between Adam’s existential state of aloneness and the tragic social isolation which results from the Tower of Babel, when one universal language …

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Rav Boaz Pash

The Book of Bereishit: Becoming Partners in God’s Creation Rabbi Boaz Pash is the Rosh Kollel of the Joseph and Gwendolyn Straus Rabbinical Seminary‘s Torat Yosef Kollel. Once again, we find ourselves reaching for the first volume on the far right of the shelf – the Book of Genesis, Bereishit.  A new year has begun; …

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Shabbat Shalom: Parshat Bereishit (Genesis 1:1-6:8) By Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel – “And these are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, on the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.” (Gen. 2:4). Imagine, for a moment, a world conducted according to strict Divine justice: punishment …

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Shmuel-Klitsner

The Cloud, the Mist, the Thicket Rabbi Shmuel Klitsner is the chairman of OTS’s Susi Bradfield Women’s Institute for Halakhic Leadership (WIHL) who also just began his 35th year teaching at Midreshet Lindenbaum. According to tradition, Hoshana Raba as the crescendo of the Sukkot experience is also a Yom Kippur retrospective, complete with yet another …

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RSR

Shabbat Shalom: Chol Hamoed Sukkot  By Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel – This magnificent three-week festival period – Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot – may be viewed and experienced in two dimensions simultaneously; the universalist, nationalist dimension, and the particularistic, individual/family dimension. Rosh Hashanah is the day on which the world was born, when the …

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RSR

Shabbat Shalom: Parshat Haazinu (Deuteronomy 32:1-32:52) By Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel – The very joyous and ritually rich festival of Sukkot comes at the heels of Yom Kippur, the Day of Forgiveness and Purity. Now that, hopefully, we have been forgiven for our transgressions, we begin afresh with a clean slate. It is certainly …

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Rabbanit Dena Freundlich Rock

Parshat Ha’azinu = The Torah? Rabbanit Dena (Freundlich) Rock is a core member of the faculty at Midreshet Lindenbaum in Jerusalem, where she teaches Talmud and Halakha, and coordinates the midrasha’s Matmidot Scholars Program. Parshat Ha’azinu is unique in that virtually the entire parsha is a song. Even in an actual Sefer Torah, the verses …

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