portion of the week

“Shabbat Shalom” – Sukkot 5779

Shabbat Shalom: Chol HaMoed Sukkot By Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel – What is the true symbolism of the succa? The Talmud (B.T. Succa 11b) cites a difference of opinion between Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Eliezer as to whether the succa commemorates the actual huts in which the Israelites dwelt in the desert, or the “clouds… Continue Reading “Shabbat Shalom” – Sukkot 5779

“Parsha to the Point” – Sukkot 5779

Hope and Faith Rabbi David Stav The holiday of Sukkot appears several times in the Torah, and is even discussed at length in Parshat Emor and in Parshat Re’eh. Surprisingly, however, our Sages instituted that the Torah reading for the Shabbat of Sukkot come from a number of verses in Parshat Ki Tisa, even though this… Continue Reading “Parsha to the Point” – Sukkot 5779

“Shabbat Shalom” – Haazinu 5779

Shabbat Shalom: Parshat Haazinu (Deuteronomy 32:1- 32:52) By Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel – “Remember the days of yore, understand the years (shenot) of each generation.” (Deuteronomy 32:7) Are we commanded to study world history? Certainly, I would say, on the basis of the simple meaning of the verse cited at the head of this commentary… Continue Reading “Shabbat Shalom” – Haazinu 5779

“Parsha to the Point” – Yom Kippur 5779

To Forgive and Be Forgiven Rabbi David Stav Yom Kippur is upon us, and anyone who has ever been hurt by a friend, or just some other individual (haven’t we all?) knows exactly how hard it is to forgive. Those on the receiving end have nothing but their anger to use as a defense. With what… Continue Reading “Parsha to the Point” – Yom Kippur 5779

“Shabbat Shalom” – Vayelech 5779

Shabbat Shalom: Parshat Vayelech Deuteronomy (31:1- 31:30) By Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel – “And I will surely hide My face on that day for all the evils which they shall have perpetrated, in that they have turned to other gods.” (Deuteronomy 31:18) But how do we narrow the gulf between a hidden God and a… Continue Reading “Shabbat Shalom” – Vayelech 5779

“Parsha to the Point” – Rosh Hashana 5779

Blowing the Shofar: The Voice of Freedom Rabbi David Stav One of the symbols most closely identified with Rosh Hashanah is the shofar. Shofar motifs adorned Jewish New Year’s postcards back when people sent postcards to each other. We sound the shofar dozens of times during the month of Elul, reaching the climax on the holiday… Continue Reading “Parsha to the Point” – Rosh Hashana 5779