Weekly Torah Reading Resources

Don’t Rest on Me

by R. Moshe Kurtz Lomdus on the Parsha: Kedoshim Based on the Acclaimed Sefer Chavatzeles HaSharon Q: What does Judaism have to say about transitioning (between day and night)? Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbor, neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning. (Leviticus 19:13) There are several, seemingly ...

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How One Goat, Became Many Words

by R. Moshe Kurtz Lomdus on the Parsha: Acharei Mos Based on the Acclaimed Sefer Chavatzeles HaSharon Q: Why do many synagogues spend so much time reading about the High Priest’s service on Yom Kippur? And he shall take from the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a ...

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To Cover the Blood of Birds and Chayyot

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat Acharei Mot As we race through VaYikra with double parashiyyot (three in four weeks!), I am trying to cover mitzvot well and yet briefly enough to read two on those weeks. For Acharei Mot, let’s look at the obligation to cover the blood of birds and chayyot (kosher non-domesticated animals, like deer). Rambam’s Obligation 147 makes it fairly simple, VaYikra 17;13 says we must cover the ...

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Clothing and Body in Tzara’at

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat Tazria Tzara’at Can Look Natural, But It Isn’t Kli Yakar’s read of 13;47, when the Torah introduces tzara’at ha-begged, a type of stain on clothing halakhically similar to bodily tzara’at, surprises me thrice. First, he says the manifestations of tzara’at, called nega’im, are not natural. No surprise there, I’ve often said the same. [For one proof of the idea, note a bodily lesion does ...

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The Tum’ah of a New Mother

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat Tazria Rambam, Obligation 100, gives short shrift to the mitzvah of a new mother being teme’ah; since this is a double parsha, I hope to as well. [I pause to note my newfound dislike of the misleading English translation of the word tamei, impure or “ritually” impure. Tamei appears in many contexts in the Torah, and while all have some ...

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Falling in the Presence of God

by R. Moshe Kurtz Lomdus on the Parsha: Shemini Based on the Acclaimed Sefer Chavatzeles HaSharon Q: When traveling, should one fall on their face (nefilas apayim) for the Tachanun prayer? And there came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which, when all the people saw, they shouted, and ...

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How to Know What Is Good For Us

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat Shmini Kosher Laws Is Not For Physical Health Hashem teaches the list of living creatures Jews may eat—animals, fish, insects, and birds—to Moshe and Aharon lemor aleihem, to say to them, VaYikra 11;1. Rashi explained it meant Elazar and Itamar, because the next verse says to tell the Jewish people; Kli Yakar disagrees. He also rejects the view of Ramban ...

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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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