• Signup
  • Login
  • Subscribe

Rabbi's Weekly Message

Home > Rabbi's Weekly Message

Perashat Ahare Mot-Kedoshim

Friday, May 01, 2015 Author: Rabbi Daniel Greenwald

This week we read two perashiyot, Ahare Mot and Kedoshim. In both perashiyot the Torah gives differing perspectives regarding the observance of the missvot, the commandments. In perashat Ahare Mot, we are commanded not only to observe the missvot, but to actually, “live through them” – “ve’hai bahem” (Vayikra 18:5) Ramban (18:4) explains that these words provide us with a great insight as to how we should perform the missvot: the more we live to do missvot, the more the missvot will give us life. He goes on to describe four levels of missva observance. ...

Read more...

Perashat Tazria-Messora

Friday, April 24, 2015 Author: Rabbi Elie Abadie

Jewish Tradition does not believe in coincidence. We believe that every event and its timing has a meaning. Of course, most of the time we are not able to understand the relationship of different events happening either together or around the same time. Instead, we attempt to explain the juxtaposition of events based on our own humble understanding; not necessarily based on G-d’s understanding.Perashat Tazria-Messora almost invariably falls around the Israel Independence Day Celebrations. What is the connection between the Perasha and the celebrations? ...

Read more...

Perashat Shemini

Friday, April 17, 2015 Author: Rabbi Elie Abadie

​Tragedies, unfortunately, abound. We hear and read on a daily basis about tragedies that we can’t explain or even understand. We turn our thoughts and prayers to the A-mighty in bewilderment in an attempt at finding a justification of the events and the reasoning behind them. Of course, we rarely receive an explanation or an understanding, since G-d does not have to give us any explanations of His actions. Our intellectual ability is very far from understanding G-d’s actions. ...

Read more...

Perashat Sav - Shabbat HaGadol

Friday, March 27, 2015 Author: Rabbi Elie Abadie

We always speak of the Jewish Spirit, the Jewish Soul, that burning fire that has kept us throughout the millennia. Whenever we meet a Jew, wherever we are in the world and without knowing him or her, there is an immediate connection, a sense of kinship, and a sense of oneness. This Shabbat, known as Shabbat HaGadol, marks the day of that first Shabbat that the Israelites in Egypt celebrated their first Shabbat as a free people. In a sense of defiance against their Egyptian taskmasters and enslavers, they took a lamb representing a deity of the Egyptians and tied it. ...

Read more...

Perashat Vayikra

Friday, March 20, 2015 Author: Rabbi Daniel Greenwald

This week, we begin reading the Book of Vayikra, which opens with the laws of the korbanot, the various sacrifices that constituted the bulk of the Divine service, first in the Mishkan, the Tabernacle, and later on in the Bet HaMikdash, the Temple. Most of these were animal sacrifices, which gives rise to the famous question, why did Boreh Olam command us to bring animal sacrifices? Rabbi Yehuda Henkin refers to the two famous approaches of Maimonides (Ha-Rambam) and Nahmanides (Ramban). Maimonides writes in his ‘Guide for the Perplexed’ [3:32] that ancient man was used to bringing sacrifices to pagan deities, so rather than stop this practice altogether, G-d redirected this practice to His own worship in order that we not sacrifice to foreign gods. ...

Read more...

Perashat Vayakhel-Pikudei

Friday, March 13, 2015 Author: Rabbi Daniel Greenwald

In this week's perasha the Torah recounts the response of B'nei Yisrael to Moshe's appeal for donations towards the construction of the Mishkan, the Tabernacle. וַיָּבֹאוּ כָּל-אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר-נְשָׂאוֹ לִבּוֹ וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר נָדְבָה רוּחוֹ אֹתוֹ, הֵבִיאוּ אֶת-תְּרוּמַת ה' לִמְלֶאכֶת אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד וּלְכָל-עֲבֹדָתוֹ, וּלְבִגְדֵי, הַקֹּדֶשׁ. - "And each person whose heart raised him up, and whose spirit caused him to donate, brought a donation of G-d for the work of the Tent of Meeting and for all its service, and for the holy garments." (Shemot 35:21). The commentators elaborate upon the double-expression, "whose heart raised him up, and whose spirit caused him to donate," noting that this is an obvious reference to two types of donors. If so, what was the difference between them? ...

Read more...

Perashat Ki Tissa

Friday, March 06, 2015 Author: Rabbi Daniel Greenwald

Much ado has been made over the past few years about the "one-percent" population in this country - those who are literally rich beyond measure. Many politicians have raised a hue and a cry over the fact that the rich are a privileged class and are recipients of disproportional benefits due to their economic station in society. This week's perasha discusses the missva of bringing the half-Shekel; a missva that applies equally to everyone - rich and poor alike. Among the many reasons offered for the contribution of the half-Shekel was that it served as a "kappara" - an atonement for sin. The Torah instructs us that, "The rich shall not give more and the poor shall not give less than the half-Shekel to provide atonement for your souls." [Shemot 30:15] ...

Read more...

Perashat Tessaveh

Friday, February 27, 2015 Author: Rabbi Elie Abadie

It is said: "the wishes of a righteous person come true". It is for this reason that people tend to go to Rabbis and Sages for blessings hoping that their wishes will come true. In Perashat Tessave, we do not see the name of Moshe mentioned at all. From the moment Moshe is introduced to us in Perashat Shemot until the end of the Torah, there is no Perasha that does not have Moshe's name mentioned, except Perashat Tessaveh. The Commentary on the Torah explains that this Perasha occurred after the Golden Calf episode, where G-d had wanted to obliterate the people for their grave transgression. Moshe while defending the people argues with G-d, that if G-d so wishes to obliterate the people, then Moshe wants to be obliterated with them from G-d's book. In deference of Moshe's wish as a righteous person, his name was not mentioned in Perashat Tessaveh. ...

Read more...

Perashat Terumah

Friday, February 20, 2015 Author: Rabbi Daniel Greenwald

This week’s perasha discusses the construction of the various vessels used in the Mishkan – the Tabernacle. Among these vessels was the aron – the ark, which housed the stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments. Our sages teach us that the ark fashioned by Besalel, the designer-in-chief of the Mishkan, was made of gold and wood. The ark was a wooden box on the inside, covered with gold on the outside. (Rashi, Shemot 25:11, Yoma 72). Why was the ark constructed in such a manner? From the biblical account we know that there was no shortage of gold in the desert. Would it not have been more befitting for the Ten Commandments to be housed in a pure gold box? Why then, did Besalel make the ark of both materials - wood and gold? ...

Read more...

Perashat Mishpatim

Friday, February 13, 2015 Author: Rabbi Daniel Greenwald

Buried in the midst of this week’s perasha is a well-known, if not well-observed imperative: מדבר שקר תרחק – “Keep your distance from a false matter” (Shemot 23:7). Simply put, don’t lie; be honest! Yet, one of problems impacting today’s society is lying and dishonesty. Deception is rampant – and sometimes we even tell the biggest lies to those we love most. The sorrowful state of lying in human behavior has been characterized by Leonard Saxe, Ph.D., a polygraph expert and professor of psychology at Brandeis University, who admits that, "Lying has long been a part of everyday life. We couldn't get through the day without being deceptive." ...

Read more...

Terms | Powered by Team Red

Register here to receive CBE emails.