Rabbi Riskin

Shabbat Shalom: Parshat Mishpatim (Exodus 21:1-24:18) By Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel –“And he took the Book of the Covenant, and read it into the ears of the nation, and they said, ‘Everything that the Lord has spoken we shall do and we shall understand” (Exodus 23:7) At Sinai, the Jewish nation entered into its …

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Shabbat Shalom: Parshat Yitro (Exodus 18:1-20:23) By Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel –“You shall not climb up My altar with steps, so that your nakedness will not be revealed on it.” (Exodus 20:22) In the time when the Torah was given, all religions were intimately connected with sexuality, temple prostitutes, and orgiastic rites. One of the …

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Shabbat Shalom: Parshat Beshalach (Exodus 13:17-17:16) By 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” (Exodus 14:31) Why does the heart of the Haggadah almost completely omit mention of Moses, …

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Shabbat Shalom: Parshat Bo (Exodus 10:1-13:16) By Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel –I have always been most fascinated—and confounded—by the ninth plague, the plague of darkness. How can darkness be “tangible,” touchable? Yes, darkness can be oppressive, foreboding and forbidding. But darkness is not substantive; much the opposite, it is usually defined as the absence of light, …

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Shabbat Shalom: Parshat Va’era (Exodus 6:2-9:35) By Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel –“And I will bring you into the land that I promised to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you as a morasha (heritage): I am the Lord.’” (Exodus 6:8) It is only natural for parents to want to leave a …

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Shabbat Shalom: Parshat Shemot (Exodus 1:1-6:1) By Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel –“And Pharaoh commanded his entire nation saying, every male baby born must be thrown into the Nile, while every female baby shall be allowed to live.” (Exodus 1:22) In decreeing the destruction of the Israelites in Egypt, why does Pharaoh distinguish between the …

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