Weekly Torah Reading Resources

Some Is In Our Control, Some Isn’t

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat Noach The Tower Was an Idolatry Read simply, Bereshit 11;4 has people decide to build a city, with a tower whose top reached to the sky. Like last week, Ha-Ketav Ve-Ha-Kabbalah reaches for a less-used meaning of the word ir, city, to see their intentions differently. He cannot accept that they were foolish enough to think they could build a ...

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A First Introduction to Humanity

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat Bereshit Welcome to a new year of parsha study. I plan to look at how some commentators from the 19th century explained the simple meaning of the text, often explicitly intended to show how Chazal’s readings of the text are as much the “real” meaning as any supposedly more plainsense version, in response to attacks from Biblical ...

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Circumcision in the Wilderness

by R. Moshe Kurtz Lomdus on the Parsha: V’Zos HaBerachah Based on the Acclaimed Sefer Chavatzeles HaSharon Q: Was the tribe of  Levi right to endanger their children by circumcising them in the wilderness? הָאֹמֵר לְאָבִיו וּלְאִמּוֹ לֹא רְאִיתִיו וְאֶת־אֶחָיו לֹא הִכִּיר וְאֶת־בָּנָו לֹא יָדָע כִּי שָׁמְרוּ אִמְרָתֶךָ וּבְרִיתְךָ יִנְצֹרוּ׃ Who said of his father and mother, “I consider them ...

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The Strange Allure of Idolatry and Moshe’s Death

by R. Gil Student Link to audio Sometimes the stories of the Bible resonate with us as they reflect our own feelings and interactions. Other times, they seem puzzling. For example, the repeated worship of idolatry — sticks and stones — baffles us. Even after all those warnings, the Jews keep returning to what seems to us as mere silliness. ...

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The Under-Appreciated Amen

by R. Moshe Kurtz Lomdus on the Parsha: Ha’azinu Based on the Acclaimed Sefer Chavatzeles HaSharon Q: What is more important: Reciting a blessing or answering amen?        כִּי שֵׁם ה’ אֶקְרָא – הָבוּ גֹדֶל לֵאלֹהֵינוּ.  For I will proclaim the name of the Lord; ascribe greatness unto our God. (Deut. 32:3) The imperative to answer amen to a blessing may ...

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Three Views of Yehoshu’a on Moshe’s Last Day

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat Ha’Azinu After the Torah records the song of Ha’azinu, 32;44 tells us Moshe came and relayed it to the people, he and Hoshe’a bin nun. Since we know him as Yehoshu’a, ever since 38 years ago, when Moshe changed his name, commentators wonder why the Torah uses his original name. Their answers offer three perspectives of ...

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Why Most People Do Not Observe the 613th Commandment

by R. Moshe Kurtz Lomdus on the Parsha: Vayeilech Based on the Acclaimed Sefer Chavatzeles HaSharon Q: If there is a mitzvah to write a Torah scroll, why do so few people observe it today? And now write for yourselves this song and teach it to Children of Israel to place it in their mouths; in order that this song ...

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Confession: Commandment or Component?

by R. Moshe Kurtz Lomdus on the Parsha: Nitzavim Based on the Acclaimed Sefer Chavatzeles HaSharon Q: If you repent but forget to make a verbal confession are your transgressions not forgiven? You will return to Hashem, your God, and obey Him exactly as I am commanding you today, you and your sons, wholeheartedly and with your whole being.…For this ...

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