Author Archives: Arnold Lustiger

Dr. Arnold Lustiger is a research scientist and has edited multiple volumes of the Rav's Torah, including the recently published Chumash Mesoras HaRav.

Vort from the Rav: Lech Lecha

Genesis 15:4 כִּי אִם אֲשֶׁר יֵצֵא מִמֵּעֶיךָ הוּא יִירָשֶׁךָ This one will not inherit you, but the one who will spring from your innards-he will inherit you. This promise is the culmination of a long and frustrating journey for Abraham. When Abraham received God’s command of lech lecha, he also received a promise that the Almighty would make him a ...

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Vort from the Rav: Noach

Genesis 9:23 וַיִּקַּח שֵׁם וָיֶפֶת אֶת הַשִּׂמְלָה …וַיְכַסּוּ אֵת עֶרְוַת אֲבִיהֶם – And Shem and Japheth took the garment…and they covered their father’s nakedness. Rashi explains the use of the singular וַיִּקַּח emphasizing that Shem initiated the activity of covering his father, with Japheth later joining him. Our sages indicate that as a reward for covering their father’s nakedness, Shem ...

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Vort from the Rav: Bereishis

Genesis 4:6 וְכִי תַאֲוָה הוּא לָעֵינַיִם וְנֶחְמָד הָעֵץ לְהַשְׂכִּיל and that it was a desire to the eyes, and the tree was attractive to look at. The Tree of Knowledge is described in purely esthetic categories: 1) תַאֲוָה – the moment of lust, invincible, hypnotic desire that spells ethical atrophy and indifference; 2) נֶחְמָד – in the sense of attractiveness ...

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Vort from the Rav: Purim

This is the final entry in the series of Vorts from the Rav. I thank Dr. Arnold Lustiger for allowing us this window into the Rav’s commentary and wish him success in his publishing endeavors and all he sets out to do. Note that you can purchase Chumash Mesoras HaRav on Sefer Bereishis here: link –Gil Rav said: [The Megillah] ...

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Vort From The Rav: Purim

The miracle of Purim is fundamentally different from all other miracles that are commemorated in the Jewish calendar because it is not a revealed miracle. It is a “natural” miracle. There is no incident in the Megillah that one might consider as anything but a natural occurrence. The natural miracle of Purim is the primary theme of Psalms 22, a ...

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Vort from the Rav: Pekudei

Exodus 38:21 אֵֶלה פְקוּדֵי הַמִּשְׁכָּן  מִשְׁכַּן הָֽעֵדת These are the numbers of the Mishkan, the Mishkan of the Testimony. Rashi, quoting the Midrash Tanchuma, states that the repetition of the word מִּשְׁכָּן  suggests a mashkon (collateral) motif. The word is stated twice, an allusion to the two Batei Mikdash which were taken as collateral through its two destructions for the ...

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Vort from the Rav: Vayakhel

Exodus 35:22 וַיָּבאוּ הָֽאֲנָשִׁים עַל־הַנָּשׁים The men came with the women It is interesting to note the enthusiasm with which the people built the mishkan. At no time during the 40 years in the desert did any of the Children of Israel violate the sanctity of the mishkan. Yet, after only one week in the desert, the Sabbath was violated ...

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Vort from the Rav: Ki Sisa

Exodus 32:19 וַיַּשְׁלֵךְ מִיָּדָיואֶת־הַלֻּחת and he flung the tablets from his hands. There is a disagreement among Chazal regarding the circumstances surrounding the breaking of the Tablets. Most opinions maintain that Moses intentionally broke the Tablets since he did not want to present them to the idolatrous nation. To support this premise, there is a passage in Bava Batra (14b) ...

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Vort from the Rav: Tetzaveh

Exodus 28:6 וְעָשׂוּ אֶת־הָֽאֵפֹד And they shall make the ephod Rashi writes: I have not heard nor have I found a baraisa which explains [the ephod’s] design. However, my heart tells me that it is belted around its back…” Rashi continues with a description of how he believed the Ephod was designed. How could Rashi provide such a detailed picture ...

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Vort From The Rav: Terumah

Exodus 25:10 וְעָשׂוּ אֲרוֹן They shall make an ark. Maimonides in Hilchos Beis Habechira (1:6) states “vessels must be made for the Temple.” Maimonides includes within the mitzvos of building the Temple the fashioning of the various Temple vessels, the reason being that he maintains that both the building of the Temple and housing its vessels constitute one fulfillment, one ...

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