In the beginning .. Breishit

That exciting period of the year is here again when we can focus our thoughts on the origin of our world and universe. Jeffrey Cohen wrote that, in the first six days, time was secondary to the vario...

Haazinu- The Torah is not an empty thing for you

R’ Eli Munk commented that “for you” means that it is you who will determine whether the Torah is empty or meaningful. If it does seem empty for you, then it is because of your limitations, your lack...

Nitzavim – Vayelech

Yeshayahu Leibowitz wrote that this parasha contains a number of concepts relating to Teshuva, repentance, with reference to the root SHUV- “to return to something”. In this parasha Moshe predicted t...

Ki Tavo – A Covenant based society

R’ Jonathan Sacks wrote about the importance of the narrative in a covenant based society, and the contrast with a tradition based society where things are continued the way they have always been wit...

Ki Teytzei – Aspects of Marriage

R’ SR Hirsch wrote that a Jewish marriage is based on rights and obligations which are independent of the will of the couple, whereas in other legal obligations can be specified by the parties to the...

Shoftim – The role of prophets

Moshe spoke about the time when the Israelites came to the land, and they would follow certain actions and traditions. One that he mentioned was that “Your G-d will raise up a prophet from your midst...

Re’eh – Tzedaka does not mean charity

R’ Jonathan Sacks wrote an excellent essay with regard to the mitzvah of “tzedaka”(1), mentioned in this week’s parasha. The quote is “If anyone is poor among you, in any of the towns of the land the...

Eikev – What Does G-d Want?

As part of his review of the events of the previous forty years for the Jewish people, Moshe described his time on Mt Sinai. He asked the rhetorical question above and gave the answer. “Just to fear ...

Va’Etchanan – A model of prayer

This parasha begins with Moshe recalling that he prayed to G-d to let him cross the Jordan and see the good land that is on the other side. R’ Eli Munk quoted from the Zohar which teaches that this p...