Parashah Roundup: Ki Sisa 5768

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by Steve Brizel

The Half Shekel

  • R. Yaacov Haber (Torahlab) explores why one must not take a census in a direct manner: link
  • R. Efraim Buchwald, based upon the Alshich, suggests that thehalf shekel is precisely a half shekel to remind man that he cannot consider himself alone: link
  • Washing the Hands

  • R. Berel Wein discusses the Kiyor and the significance of Netilas Yadayim: link
  • Click here to read moreThe Episode of the Golden Calf

  • R. Yisachar Frand, based upon an essay of R Avigdor Nevenzal, suggests a connection between the Episode of the Golden Calf and Parah Adumah-the need to follow the Mesorah of Torah SheBaal Peh: link
  • R. Shlomo Riskin discusses why we learn so many of the fundamentals of teshuvah from the incident of the Golden Calf and how Moshe Rabbeinu evolves from following God’s orders to being the defender of the Jewish People: link
  • R. Asher Brander, based upon a drasha of Rav Soloveitchik zt”l, suggests that Moshe’s leadership skills and willingness to sacrifice for Klal Yosrael, remain a model for anyone involved in a leadership role: link
  • R. Ezra Bick analyzes the Mitvos that are underscored in the wake of the Episode of the Golden Calf: link
  • R. Aharon Lichtenstein probes why Moshe Rabbeinu broke the first set of Luchos: link
  • R. Avigdor Nevenzal traces many examples where Klal Yisrael engaged in the same rationale as the generation that erected the Golden Calf and finds a common denominator for the cause: link
  • The Thirteen Midos

  • R. Zev Leff explains how one implements the 13 Midos, as opposed to merely reciting them: link
  • The Second Luchos

  • R. Jonathan Sacks, based upon a well known Kabbalistic doctrine, suggests an intrinsic difference between the two sets of Luchos: link
  • Torah Shebiksav and Torah SheBaal Peh

  • R. Herschel Shachter discusses the development of Torah SheBaal Peh: link
  • Talmud Torah and True Freedom

  • R. Mayer Twersky emphasizes that one is free when he internalizes the Torah: link
  • Shabbos and Mikdash

  • R. Yitzchak Etshalom reviews the many halachic and hashkafic relationships between Shabbos and Mikdash: link
  • About Gil Student

    Rabbi Gil Student is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student serves on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America. He also serves on the Editorial Boards of Jewish Action magazine, the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society and the Achieve Journal of Behavioral Health, Religion & Community, as well as the Board of OU Press. He has published five English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

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