“Shabbat Shalom” – Vayikra 5777

Parshat Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1 – 5:26) Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel – “Speak to the children of Israel, when any human being of you shall bring from themselves a sacrifice to God from the cattle, from the herd or from the flock…” [Lev. 1:2] What does it mean to be a human being? Are we the “social animal” of Aristotle? The thinking …

“Shabbat Shalom” – Vayakhel-Pekudei 5777

Parshat Vayakhel-Pekudei (Exodus 35:1 – 40:38) Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel – “And he erected the courtyard around the sanctuary and the altar, set up the screen gate of the courtyard; and Moses completed the work.” [Ex. 40:33] Why repeat all the details of the construction of the Mishkan after we have already heard them when they …

“Shabbat Shalom” – Tetzaveh 5777

Parshat Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:20 – 30:10) Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel – “Make a forehead-plate of pure gold, and engrave on it…’Holy to G-d’.  Attach a twist of sky-blue wool to it” (Exodus 28:36-37) This week’s portion of Tetzaveh, wherein Moses’ name is not mentioned even once, exclusively belongs to Aaron, whose name appears …

“Shabbat Shalom” – Mishpatim 5777

Parshat Mishpatim (Exodus 21:1 – 24:18) Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel — “When [Hebrew: ‘im’] you lend money to My people, to the poor person with you, you shall not behave toward him as a lender; you shall not impose interest upon him.” [Ex. 22:24] How can we ensure that Jewish ideals—such as protecting the downtrodden and …