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Rabbi's Weekly Message

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Perashat Korah 5778

Friday, June 15, 2018 Author: Rabbi Mimoun Miller

In this week's perasha, we read the story of the rebellion of Korah. Along with two hundred and fifty men of the Israelite assembly, Korah challenged the leadership of Moshe and Aharon. In Pirke Abot, the Mishna states that the only disputes that will result in long-lasting value are those intended for the sake of heaven, leshem shamayim. The examples given as evidence are those between Hillel and Shammai, whose different interpretations of the Torah often lead to zealous disagreements, and are now a constructive source of learning. To the contrary, the incident of Korah and his company is the paradigm of negativity. ...

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Perashat Shelah 5778

Friday, June 08, 2018 Author: Rabbi Mimoun Miller

In this week's perasha we read about the episode of the Meraglim, the spies. Before the nation entered the Land of Canaan, Moshe sent one leader from each of the twelve tribes to survey the land and report back. Of the twelve spies, ten returned with mixed and disheartening news. In their report they described the Holy Land as such, "Indeed it flows with milk and honey, but the people who inhabit the land are mighty, and the cities are extremely huge and fortified, and there we saw even the offspring of the giants." They were later punished and condemned for their Lashon Hara, slander, about the land. ...

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Perashat Beha'alotekha 5778

Friday, June 01, 2018 Author: Rabbi Mimoun Miller

Perashat Beha'alotekha describes one of the most challenging periods in Am Yisrael's history. After departing the spiritually elevating atmosphere of Mount Sinai, the people wandered the vast desolate desert, sporadically stopping and going forth on their way to the Promised Land. The only direction they had was G-d's sign of the position of the Clouds of Glory over their encampment. ...

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Perashat Nasso 5778

Friday, May 25, 2018 Author: Rabbi Mimoun Miller

In Sefer HaMissvot the Rambam writes that the source for Vidui, confessing one's sins before God, is derived from this week's perasha: "And they shall confess the sin that they committed" (Bamidbar 5:7). A critical component of the process of Teshuba is to first verbally acknowledge one's sin in detail and then ask forgiveness for it. This is an important part in most of our daily prayers. ...

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Shabuot 5778

Friday, May 18, 2018 Author: Rabbi Mimoun Miller

The Torah makes an unusual observation about Am Yisrael upon Hashem's giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai: "And all the people saw the thunder and the flames, the sound of the shofar and the smoking mountain" (Exodus 20:15). Rabbi Akiva explains that they saw what was audible and heard what was visual. [from Mechilta d'Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai]. ...

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Perashot Behar-Behukotay 5778

Friday, May 11, 2018 Author: Rabbi Mimoun Miller

Perashat Behar begins by speaking about the laws of Shemittah, the Sabbatical Year in which we allow the land to rest. The commentaries point out that the Torah gives unique importance to this missvah by stressing that this was commanded "on Mount Sinai", something that is not mentioned for any other missvah, and also by comparing Shemittah to Shabbat in several different Pesukim, such as "Shabbat onto G-d" (Vayikra 25:2). Why is such importance given to this agricultural law? ...

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Perashat Emor 5778

Friday, May 04, 2018 Author: Rabbi Mimoun Miller

This week's perasha introduces the missvah of counting the fifty days of the Omer: "And you shall count for yourselves from the morrow of the Shabbat...seven weeks." (Vayikra 23:15) Our Sages determine that we start counting on the day after the first day of Pesah, the fifteenth of Nissan. According to the Oral Torah, the Hebrew word for Shabbat, the "day of rest", refers to the Holy Day of Passover which is also a day of physical rest. The Sadducees...

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Perashot Ahare Mot-Kedoshim 5778

Friday, April 27, 2018 Author: Rabbi Mimoun Miller

This coming Sunday we observe the holiday of Pesah Sheni, occurring exactly one month after Pesah. This day seems to have very little practical significance nowadays, with the exception that we do not say Tahanun. What is this day all about, and what is its meaning to us today? ...

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Perashot Tazria-Messora 5778

Friday, April 20, 2018 Author: Rabbi Mimoun Miller

The perashot Tazria and Messora speak about the purification process of sara'at, the discoloration that in ancient times would mysteriously appear on a person's skin, clothing or on the walls of their home. ...

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Perashat Shemini 5778

Friday, April 13, 2018 Author: Rabbi Mimoun Miller

At the end of this week's perasha, right after describing the Laws of Kashrut, the Torah reminds us that Hashem took us out of Egypt: "For I am the Lord Who has brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your G-d. Thus, you shall be holy, because I am holy" [Leviticus 11:45]. Rashi explains that there is a fundamental lesson being taught here. The purpose of Yesiat Missrayim, leaving Egypt, was so the Jewish people would accept upon themselves the missvot of the Torah. Keeping kashrut is so crucial that, in and of itself, it was a sufficient reason to leave Missrayim. ...

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