“Shabbat Shalom” – Tazria/Metzora 5777

Parshat Tazria/Metzora (Leviticus 12:1-15:33) Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel — “And on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.” [Lev. 12:3] The mitzvah of circumcision in the portion of Tazria appears in the midst of the discussion of the impure and pure periods immediately following childbirth. Furthermore, our …

“Shabbat Shalom” – Shemini 5777

Parshat Shemini (Leviticus 9:1-11:47) Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel — “And Nadav and Avihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer, placed fire on it, and laid incense thereon, and offered strange fire which He had not commanded them. And there came forth fire from before God, and it devoured them, so that they died before God.” [Lev. …

“Shabbat Shalom” – Chol Hamoed Pesach 5777

Chol Hamoed Pesach Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel – While the Passover Seder is still freshly on our minds and taste buds, allow me to suggest an important lesson that we are likely to overlook. Fascinatingly, alongside Moshe who is not really mentioned by the Haggadah, there is another great Biblical personality who plays a major role in the …

“Shabbat Shalom” – Tzav – Shabbat Hagadol 5777

Parshat Tzav (Leviticus 6:1 – 8:36) – Shabbat Hagadol Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel – “Behold, I send you Elijah the Prophet before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And he [Elijah] will turn [back to God] the hearts of the parents through their children and the hearts of the children through their parents” (Malachi …

“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 …