Weekly Torah Reading Resources

Not Ignoring the Impoverished

by R. Gidon Rothstein Soon enough, not long after Parshat Shemot, the Torah will give us mitzvot in the parsha itself. While we’re waiting, She’iltot points us in the direction of caring about fellow Jews of straitened financial circumstances, I think because Moshe Rabbenu’s choice to leave the palace to check on his brothers’ welfare, risking his status to defend a fellow Jew from the Egyptian ...

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Overspending on a Mitzvah?

by R. Moshe Kurtz Lomdus on the Parsha: Vayechi Based on the Acclaimed Sefer Chavatzeles HaSharon Q: Is there a limit to how much one may spend on a mitzvah? Zevulun shall dwell by the seashore; He shall be a haven for ships, And his flank shall rest on Sidon. (Genesis 49:13) Zevulun was mentioned before Issachar even though Issachar ...

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Hard Conversations

by R. Gidon Rothstein Problems We Foresee In Parshat Va-Yechi, Yosef brings his sons to Ya’akov for a blessing. Ya’akov welcomes the boys in theory, grants them status in his family equal to that of Re’uven and Shim’on, then questions who they are in verse eight! Yosef replies they are my sons, whom God has given me here, and Ya’akov returns ...

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Proper Weights and Measures

by R. Gidon Rothstein Continuing last week’s theme, let’s see a mitzvah related to pricing markets properly, ensuring our weights and measures are accurate. I could imagine the Torah grouping all of this under one obligation to measure correctly, yet Rambam—with no argument from Ramban– has three Biblical rules on the issue, an obligation and two prohibitions. Calibrating Our Measuring Apparatus Well ...

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Honor Thy [Grand]father and [Grand]mother

by R. Moshe Kurtz Lomdus on the Parsha: Vayigash Based on the Acclaimed Sefer Chavatzeles HaSharon Q: Is there a halachic obligation to honor one’s grandparents?  So Yisrael set out with all that was his, and he came to Beer-sheva, where he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Yitzchak. (Genesis 46:1) Rashi cites the Medresh in Bereishis Rabbah ...

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Yehuda and His Brothers’ View of Their Sin Against Yosef

by R. Gidon Rothstein Yehuda Says “It’s Me” Parshat VaYigash opens with Yehuda’s dramatic plea to Yosef, engaging his emotions enough for him to reveal himself and bring us to the happier parts of the story. Yehuda’s first words are bi adoni, usually translated as “please, my lord,” but the word bi can also mean “in me.” Kli Yakar reads it that way, and understands ...

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Halachic Markets

by R. Gidon Rothstein I’m feeling my oats, a bit, because we are going to study an issue She’iltot raises for Parshat Va-Yigash that is not a specific Biblical mitzvah, although Rambam and Aruch Ha-Shulhan give it a de-oraita framework. Aside from my preference to be guided by She’iltot, the topic appeals to me for its challenge to our capitalistic assumptions of the value of free pricing of ...

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