Weekly Torah Reading Resources

Not to Eat Blood

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat Tzav We’re not allowed to eat blood, we all know that, but do we? Rambam expresses the prohibition categorically in Lo Ta’aseh 184, we are warned against eating blood, based on verses in last week’s parsha and this, 7;26, kol dam lo tokhelu. A verse in Acharei Mot, he points out, establishes karet, excision, to be the punishment for deliberate eating, an unwitting sinner ...

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Add Another Animal to My Tab

by R. Moshe Kurtz Lomdus on the Parsha: Vayikra Based on the Acclaimed Sefer Chavatzeles HaSharon Q: Why do we not keep track of the offerings we owe God?  And if any one of the common people sin through error, in doing any of the things which the Lord hath commanded not to be done, and be guilty: or if his ...

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Sacrifices Help Us and Please God

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat VaYikra Eating and the Great Reward Awaiting Us Verse seventeen in chapter five of VaYikra speaks of someone who does not realize they are sinning, ve-ashem, develops guilt, and bears his/her sin. Kli Yakar refers to a passage we have in Sifra Dibbura De-Hova 12;20;10 (whoever put the references in Kli Yakar said it was inTorat Kohanim 363). Commenting on this verse, R. Yose shares ...

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To Bear Witness, But Not From Evildoers

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat VaYikra This week’s parsha has the mitzvah to bear witness, 5;1, expressed obliquely in the Torah’s establishing a sacrifice to atone for the failure to give testimony one has or knows. The need to atone shows either a violation or a failure to fulfill an obligation. (Arukh HaShulchan Choshen Mishpat 28;4 adds that it also violates lo ta’amod al ...

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The Transcendent Mishkan, Run by Ordinary People

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat Vayakhel/Pekudei: Welcome to Double Parsha Land! This year is not a leap year, so we will several times read two parashiyyot on a Shabbat, and this week, Vayakhel-Pekudei is our first one. In the name of space, I sought shorter comments than usual, so that the two parashiyyot can be discussed in about the same time as a usual one. In ...

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Setting the Calendar

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat Vayakhel/Pekudei 5783: Also Parshat Ha-Chodesh! In my parsha series, I can’t dodge the parsha, and when it’s a double, I have to do both. Here, the calendar offers me another mitzvah to discuss, because this week is also Parshat HaChodesh, the fourth of the special readings around Purim and Nissan. In the reading for HaChodesh, we have the verse Rashi called the ...

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A Partner to God?

by R. Moshe Kurtz Lomdus on the Parsha: Ki Sisa Based on the Acclaimed Sefer Chavatzeles HaSharon Q: May non-Jews believe in more than one God? And all the people took off the gold rings that were in their ears and brought them to Aharon. This he took from them and cast in a mold, and made it into a ...

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Knowing Our Place in the World

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat Ki Tissa There seems to be general agreement the helbenah included in the ketoret (Shemot 30;34) was galbanum, a bitter-tasting gum resin with what Wikipedia calls a peculiar, somewhat musky odor. Keretot 6b said it was there to remind us to include the sinners of the Jewish people [who, metaphorically, have a bad taste and/or odor] in our fast days. Otherwise, We Couldn’t ...

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Not Benefitting from Tikrovet Avodah Zarah

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat Ki Tissa Avodah zarah, the worship of any power other than God, hides today, fooling many of us into thinking there isn’t really AZ out there, in turn making it harder to resonate with the many obligations and prohibitions the Torah set up to protect us from getting caught up in it. Given my belief there is more avodah ...

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