By Rabbi Binyamin Kahane Translated by Lenny Goldberg In Parshat Vaetchanan, we witness a dramatic exchange of words between G-d and Moshe. Moshe opens by requesting of G-d that He allow him to enter the Land of Israel. G-d refuses Moshe's supplication unequivocally, stating: ""It is enough for you; speak to Me no more regarding… Continue reading Where is Home?
Introduction In Parsha Behar we learn about the laws of Shmittah. Every seventh year all debts are forgiven, slaves are released, the land cannot be worked, and your produce belongs to everyone: “Six years you may sow your field and six years you may prune your vineyard and gather in the yield. But in the… Continue reading Parsha Behar
In this week's Torah portion we read about Nadav and Avihu, Aaron's sons, who were Kohanim. We learn that they offer a "strange fire" to Hashem in the Mishkan (the tabernacle) and as a result they perish. Imagine that for a second; Aaron's sons perished for providing a slightly altered offering to Hashem. Nowadays people… Continue reading Nadav and Avihu: The Importance of Precision
What is Joy Purim, by far, is one of the more festive Jewish holidays; we dress up, we drink, we feast. Joy would most certainly be a word to describe the day. Yet, what is joy? Is joy the same thing as happiness? How does a Jew approach joy? How does the Purim story itself… Continue reading Why Joy?
Today, we will tackle the age-old question: Do we really have free will? In Parsha Bo we read, “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Go to Pharaoh. For I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his servants, in order that I may display My signs among them and that you may recount in… Continue reading Free Will: Does it Truly Exist?
What Are We To Learn From The Shechem Massacre? The lesson here is twofold: personal and national. However, before we dive into those two lessons, I want to remind you of two quotes that encompass the two lessons, “Should he treat our sister as a harlot?” (Bereishit 34:31), and “Then they travelled, and the fear… Continue reading Part Two: The National and Personal Lessons We Learn From the Story of Shechem
Summary of the Story Parsha Vayishlach is filled with numerous important events. However, I would like to focus on one that pries at our modern sensibilities: the story of Shechem. Allow me first to give a small summary. Yaakov temporarily settled before the city of Shechem. Dinah, his only daughter, went out to meet the… Continue reading Part One: The City of Shechem and the Case for Collective Punishment
Introduction In Parsha Vayera, “the LORD said (to Avraham), ‘The outrage of Sodom and Gomorrah is so great, and their sin so grave! I will go down to see whether they have acted altogether according to the outcry that has reached Me; if not, I will take note.’” (Bereishit 18:20-21) Avraham, then proceeded to plead… Continue reading Avraham, Sodom, and Yitzhak, How the Three Are Connected
In Parsha Bereishit, we find a very interesting episode. Chava is convinced by the serpent to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. She then proceeds to tell Adam that he should try the fruit, and now, we schmegegges get to dwell in this crazy world. We could be prancing in the Garden of Eden, but because of… Continue reading Cunning and Subjectivity
Every land is owned by those who acquired it. When a land is conquered, no one questions to whom the land belongs to. What was the last time someone seriously proposed that California belongs to Mexico? If California belongs to Mexico, then we must factor in the fact that the Spanish who established the country… Continue reading The Iron Bandaid