shabbat shalom

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 …

Read more

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 …

Read more

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, …

Read more

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, …

Read more

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 …

Read more

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 …

Read more

Shabbat Shalom: Parshat Vayechi (Genesis 47:28-50:26) By Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel –“Judah, to you shall your brothers give homage” (Genesis 49:8) The climax of our Biblical portion of Vayechi – and indeed of the entire Book of Genesis – comes in the death-bed scene in which Jacob–Israel bestows blessings upon each of his sons, …

Read more

Shabbat Shalom: Parshat Vayigash (Genesis 44:18-47:27) By Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel –“I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his companions; and I will put them unto him together with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be …

Read more

Shabbat Shalom: Parshat Miketz-Chanukah (Genesis 41:1-44:17) By Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel –As children, we learn that Chanukah is about the victory of the Judeans over the Greek-Syrians; Jews over Gentiles. We know from the Books of the Maccabees and the Second Commonwealth historian Josephus, however, that the struggle began as a civil war, a …

Read more

RSR

Shabbat Shalom: Parshat Vayeshev (Genesis 37:1-40:23) By Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel – “And Judah said to his brothers: ‘What profit is it if we slay our brother and conceal his blood? Let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let our hand not be upon him; for he is our brother, our flesh.” (Genesis 37:26-27) Why …

Read more

Shabbat Shalom: Parshat Vayishlach (Genesis 32:4-36:43) By Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel – “And he said, Your name will no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed. And Jacob asked him and said, ‘Tell me, if you would, your name.’ ‘Why do you ask for my …

Read more

Shabbat Shalom: Parshat Vayetze (Genesis 28:10-32:3) By Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel – “And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am …

Read more