“Shabbat Shalom” – Matot-Masei 5778

Parshat Matot-Masei (Numbers 30:2–36:13) Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel – This week’s double portion records how the Jews finally cross the Jordan River on their way to conquer the Promised Land. The tribes of Gad, Reuven and half the tribe of Menashe possess a great multitude of cattle, and “paradise” for cattle is good grazing land, which …

“Shabbat Shalom” – Pinchas 5778

Parshat Pinchas (Numbers 25:10 – 30:1) Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel— Fanaticism, particularly when garbed in the clothing of myopic fundamentalism, rarely evokes in us a sympathetic bent.  How could it, given its association with an uncontrollable zeal and violence for the sake of heaven? But when we turn to the opening of this week’s …

“Shabbat Shalom” – Behaalotcha 5778

Parshat Behaalotcha(Numbers 8:1 – 12:16) Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel — “The nation was ‘kvetching’ evilly in the ears of the Lord, and the Lord heard, and His anger inflamed” [Num. 11:1]. Why is there a marked difference between God’s reaction to the complaints recorded here in the Book of Numbers compared to His reaction to …

“Shabbat Shalom” – Naso 5778

Parshat Naso(Numbers 4:21 – 7:89) Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel – Who was the target audience for the Ten Commandments? Our Biblical portion this week speaks of the ongoing voice of the Divine, which continues to be heard from within the Sanctuary (Mishkan) on a continual basis after the Divine Revelation, which has just been heard by the entire …

“Shabbat Shalom” – Bamidbar 5778

Parshat Bamidbar (Numbers 1:1-4:20) Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel: “Count the heads of the entire witness-congregation of Israel” (Numbers 1:2). The Book of Numbers opens with a most optimistic picture of a nation poised for redemption. The Israelites have been freed from Egypt with great miracles and wonders. They have received the Revelation …