Welcome to the Parashat HaShavuah Series!

The Morashah weekly Parashat HaShavuah Series is made available to our membership as an educational resource. You may distribute the file electronically or make copies available at Shabbat services. Morashah is the rabbinic arm of the Union for Traditional Judaism.

Genesis

ParashaLinkDescription
Bereshit PDF 37K
In the Beginning
"The first portion of the Torah, B'raisheet, is a story of beginnings... the beginning of the Universe... the beginning of society, the beginning of humankind."
--Rabbi Kenneth A. Greene
PDF 89K Parashat Breishit
"[I]s it also possible to understand the genealogies as something fundamentally more than history?"
--Avi Moshe Miller, Rabbinical Student
PDF 61K B'reisheet...B'tzelem Elokim
"What is meant by the image of God?"
--Rabbi Kenneth Greene
PDF 65K Parashat Bereishit: A Revolution in Thinking
"There are some revolutions that are so successful that later generations no longer see how revolutionary was the change."
--Rabbi David Willig
Noach PDF 92K
Slouching Towards Sodom: The Story of Lot
"[I]f we were only unified and at peace with each other, how much more we could accomplish with G-d's blessings."
--Rabbi Martin J. Berman
PDF 63K Parashat Noach
"What are the things that we use as an excuse to limit our own achievement? Are we too busy? Too old? Too young? Not educated enough? Not rich enough? Certainly, we all have our limits. But we also have untold potential."
--Rabbi Noah Gradofsky
PDF 104K Parashat Noach 5771
"According to the Rabbis, the entire world of Noah’s generation engaged in stealing from one another. The corruption of humans even contaminated the animals and the earth itself. Some commentators take Noah to task for shutting himself in and for not trying to save the rest of society. It is possible, however, to see the narrative in a different light."
--Rabbi Irvin S. Beigel
Lech Lecha PDF 64K
Parashat Lech Lecha
"About to embark on a spiritual journey ... G-d doesn't even tell Abram where he is going. Why Not?"
--Rabbi Noah Gradofsky
PDF 64K
Parashat Lekh Lekha
"To die for one’s beliefs is easy. To live for them is more difficult, more taxing and even more painful."
--Rabbi Elliot Pearlson
Vayeira PDF 102K
Parashat Vayere
"Without Abraham's ongoing religious guidance, Lot was overwhelmed by his new environment."
--Rabbi Robert Pilavin
Chayei Sarah PDF 107K Parashat Chayei Sarah
"Perhaps kvurah (proper burial) is the hardest mitzvah to fulfill, but at the same time it is an amazing expression of love."
-- Rabbi Jeffrey Rappoport
PDF 76K Parashat Chayei Sarah: At Eventide
"Hashem is called the 'bochen levavot,' the seer of the depths of our hearts' deepest desires. When hearts are united, prayer becomes stronger."
-- Rabbi Baruch Binyamin Hakohen Melman
Toldot PDF 76K
Parashat Toldot
"One must wonder how many times Jacob must have pondered Isaac's words, Mi atta b'ni, Who are you, my son?"
--Rabbi Shlomo Segal
PDF 65K Parashat Toledot
"The weak need strength, teaching, and guidance; the sick need healing; the wicked need to be punished. Wisdom is discerning the difference..."
--Rabbi Seth D. Gordon
PDF 68K Parashat Toldot
"[N]either Isaac nor his son Jacob gave in to despair. They persisted until they were able to fulfill their holy mission in life. When we are faced with obstacle upon obstacle in life, we can call upon their strength to persevere, for we are the children of Isaac and Jacob."
--Rabbi Mark Hillel Kunis
Vayetze PDF 74K
Parashat Vayetzei
"Jacob never took what was not his, but made sure that his ethical standard would not be so high as to risk the survival of his children as a people."
--Rabbi Yaakov Siegel
Vayishlach PDF 101K Parashat Vayishlach
"Jacob would not succumb; we, his descendants, have the challenge of living through our fears in a way of which we will not be ashamed."
--Rabbi Richard Fagan
PDF 79K Parashat Vayishlach
"Who among us doesn’t have at least one real or perceived disability?"
--Dr. Phil Levine
Vayeshev PDF 97K Parshat Vayeshev
"Joseph's rise and fall and rise create a pattern similar to that of the sun rising and setting each day. We can derive from this story that descent is necessary for ascent."
--Rabbi David S. Bauman
PDF 77K Parashat Vayeshev
"Joseph's genius is that he held onto God in his darkest moments and in the darkest of places."
--Rabbi Pinchas Klein
Miketz PDF 65K Parshat Miketz
"From the perspective of the Midrash, the cup-bearer had sinned in neglecting his promise to help Joseph out of his wrongful imprisonment. But he also sinned in remaining silent to the anguish of Pharaoh..."
--Rabbi Wayne Allen
PDF 70K Parashat Miketz
"God’s vision of the future is one built on a partnership between His divine plan and our activism. It is only by taking an active role in the world that we can partner with God in His ongoing creation."
--Daniel M. Held
PDF 64K Parashat Miketz
"Contemporary observance of Chanukkah vividly illustrates the tension between 'fitting in' and standing apart. Much of what Jews 'observe' revolves around customs - giving of gifts, latkes, doughnuts and dreidels - far removed from the core message of Chanukkah. Might they not owe their prominence more to our need (often subconscious) to make ourselves 'outwardly indistinguishable' from our non-Jewish neighbors in late December?"
--Rabbi Robert Pilavin
Vayigash PDF 73K Parashat Vayigash
"At the moment of the reunion, Joseph fell on his father's neck and wept. The Torah is silent in regard to Jacob's response to this ecstatic moment of reunion with his long-lost son."
--Rabbi Pinchas Klein
PDF 62K Parashat Vayigash
"The standard modern ideal is that I can do as I please as long as no one gets hurt. But we do affect those around us."
--Rabbi Martin J. Berman
PDF 141K Parashat Vayigash
"When Jacob wrestles with the ish, it is also perceived as an angelic visitation. The anashim who visit Lot are also angelic messengers. It might be surprising then that Joseph’s brothers are referred to as anashim repeatedly throughout last week’s parasha of Mikketz, until Joseph’s revelation to them in our parasha of Vayigash."
--Rabbi Ronald D. Price
Vayechi PDF 77K Parashat Vayechi
"Many times we, as Rabbis, are asked to sum up a person's life at a funeral.... One would think that when it comes to a person like Jacob... there would be a long flowery explanation of his life. Instead, the Torah sums it up with two words, 'Vayechi Yaakov' - Jacob lived."
--Rabbi Len Zucker
PDF 135K Parashat Vayechi
"Like Samson, we are called to do God’s will, despite temptations to turn aside. Though our deeds are less heroic than his, we have no less responsibility to find that way of avodah that is uniquely ours – those mitzvot, those acts of kindness, those moments of salvation, of tikkun, that only we can achieve."
--Rabbi Richard Fagan
PDF 76K Parashat Vayechi
"Jacob crosses his hands, placing his right hand on Ephraim's head. When Joseph protests, Jacob informs him that both will be great, but Ephraim will be greater."
--Rabbi Yaakov Siegel

Exodus

ParashaLinkDescription
Shemot PDF 78K Parashat Shemot
Before everything else - but not in place of anything else - every person who is committed to God, Torah, and mitzvot must be a champion for justice wherever injustice is found.
--Rabbi Ephraim I. Zimand
PDF 110K Parashat Shemot
Whether in politics or personal relationships, it behooves us to look as deeply as we can and to search as fully as our limits permit before condemning others. After all, many are they whose forebears were less than righteous.
--Rabbi Jeffrey H. Miller
PDF 64K Parashat Shemot
Why is the title "Exodus" appropriate, when the redemption of the Jewish people from Egyptian torture is merely the beginning of the story?
--Rabbi Shlomo Siegel
Vaera PDF 63K Parashat Vaera
Today we are in desperate need of leaders like Moses and Aaron. All too often we learn of leaders, both political and spiritual alike, who begin their leadership roles with tremendous devotion and idealism yet over a period of time they undergo a transformation...
--Rabbi Shlomo Segal
PDF 64K Parashat Va’eira
Just as each of the four cups of wine has an increasing effect on us, so too does God’s promise(s) of redemption build to a final crescendo. First, we will be freed from the burdens. Dayeinu. Next, we will be relieved from the back-breaking work. Dayeinu. Afterwards, God will remove us from Egypt (dayeinu) and finally, [...] God will ‘take us’ as a people. Dayeinu. But if the story ended there, we would still be living in Sukkot [...] That is why God presented Moshe and the Children of Israel with a fifth and final promise...
--Rabbi Jeffrey H. Miller
Bo PDF 68K Parashat Bo
Man is subject to the laws of physics, but perhaps human thought works on a quantum level. There may be numerous “probability waves” for our thoughts, but our cognitive mind brings one idea into reality.
--Dr. Ron Kastner
PDF 88K Parashat Bo
Even Moshe had his doubts, even when Hashem spoke to him directly, so why not a people raised and trained as slaves for hundreds of years? Shouldn’t they have doubts as well? Isn’t skepticism normal?
--Rabbi Shlomo Marks
B'shalach PDF 58K Parashat B’shalach
Our tradition recognized the powerful psychological forces that motivate human behaviour and Rashi brings that understanding to our attention with a striking economy of words. But the message is undeniable. Some people are so absorbed with the hatred of Israel that they will never let etiquette, protocol, or diplomacy stand in their way.
--Rabbi Wayne Allen
PDF 58K Parashat B’shalach
When Israel left Egypt, they took Yosef's essence and consciousness with them.
--Rabbi Baruch Binyamin Hacohen Melman
Yitro PDF 64K Parashat Yitro
These days, the expression "Barukh Hashem" is considered the colloquial property of the frum community. But that wasn't always so. In fact, the Torah identifies its provenance outside the Jewish community altogether.
--Rabbi Bruce Ginsburg
PDF 64K Parashat Yitro
The question may be asked: what does the court system have to do with Aseret Hadibrot? The answer is that Aseret Hadibrot are the way to act bein adam l'adam – between man and man.
--Rabbi Leonard C. Zucker
PDF 65K Na’aseh VeNishmah: How to Have Best of Both Worlds
For ages, interfaith dialogue meant: they talked, we listened. For centuries, there was much give and take: If we didn't give our souls, they'd take our bodies. From time immemorial, we were given a choice: the cross or the sword.
--Rabbi Ira Grussgott
Mishpatim PDF 91K Parashat Mishpatim - משפט
From time to time... a commentator, celebrity, or student will decry "an eye for an eye" policy or teaching... i.e., petty revenge. This thinking is at best uninformed and at worst anti-Semitic, a product of years of distortion, whether willful or innocent.
--Rabbi Seth D. Gordon
PDF 73K Parashat Mishpatim
How is Mishpatim a continuation of Yitro? Mishpatim begins by enacting ordinances protecting the Hebrew slave. The slave has rights! Indeed, Mishpatim is a continuation of Yitro as Rashi explains: the ordinances in Mishpatim are also from Sinai and are of equal importance.
--Rabbi Steven Saks
Terumah PDF 71K Parashat Teruma
It is impossible to ascribe human emotions to God, but in some sense, God must have been very excited when He presented the Jews with the Ten Commandments and the rest of the Torah at Mt. Sinai.
--Rabbi Mark Hillel Kunis
PDF 59K Parashat Terumah
The Midrash tells us that God wanted Israel to build a Tabernacle (Mishkan) so that His presence might be among us.
--Rabbi Shlomo Marks
PDF 68K Parashat Terumah
There was to be a tax, the famous half shekel, which was to be used for upkeep and purchase of communal sacrifices, but funding the initial building was strictly voluntary. It is only by voluntary contributions that people can be bound up in a cause.
--Rabbi David Willig
PDF 66K Parashat Terumah
We remember the smell of oils and spices for anointing; we are looking at the bright colors of the yarn: blue, purple, and crimson. We see the shine of silver and gold. We can feel the wool, linen, and leather. It's not the memory of an individual – it's the memory of a nation.
--Rabbi Eugene Shafir
Tetzaveh

Ki Tissa PDF 86K Parashat Ki Tissa
The sadness of it all is that Hashem told the people to take the gold and silver from the Egyptians as a mitzvah to build the Mishkan (tabernacle). They then, through their lack of Torah knowledge, their spiritual frailty and the fear of abandonment, turn a mitzvah into a vehicle for an enormous sin.
--Rabbi Shlomo Marks
PDF 74K Parashat Ki Tisa
...although God’s will is immutable, our actions can change how God's will operates. We can change God's mind. All we need to do is to work to become more worthy of God’s graces.
--Rabbi Noah Gradofsky
PDF 124K Parashat Ki Teesah
We have always been told that Hashem is everywhere. The problem is that most people want a God Who is somewhere.
--Rabbi Jeffrey A. Shron
Vayakhel PDF 66K Parashat Vayakhel-Pikudei: Promises to Keep
Do we have any idea how awesome it is to be alive to witness the ingathering of the exiles and the rebirth of Israel after untold generations of waiting? Two millennia of remembering both the Promise and the Promised Land. We remembered the promise. And so did God.
--Rabbi Baruch Binyamin Hakohen Melman
PDF 61K Parashat Vayakhel-Pekudei
When people do holy things, they, too, earn the title "holy."
--Rabbi Wayne Allen
Pekudei PDF 66K Parashat Vayakhel-Pikudei: Promises to Keep
Do we have any idea how awesome it is to be alive to witness the ingathering of the exiles and the rebirth of Israel after untold generations of waiting? Two millennia of remembering both the Promise and the Promised Land. We remembered the promise. And so did God.
--Rabbi Baruch Binyamin Hakohen Melman

Leviticus

ParashaLinkDescription
Vayikra PDF 66K Parashat Vayikra
The dog immediately focused on Rabbi Eliezerov and sat near him, licking his shoes and rubbing his head against his legs, crying at the same time. The Rabbi took careful note of the dog and finished the Siyum. He then summoned each member of the group to rise.
--Rabbi Moshe P. Weisblum, Ph.D.
Tzav

Shemini PDF 61K Parashat Shemini
Parents can love their children and that love can be indispensable to developing self-esteem and good character. But when parents fail to correct and reprimand their children because they love them too much to punish them, then their love will ultimately prove harmful.
-- Rabbi Wayne Allen
Tazria PDF 59K Parashat Tazria-Metzora
God's presence is manifest in how He rewards and equally manifest in how He punishes. The key is to recognize God's power in all its manifestations.
--Rabbi Rallis Wiesenthal
Metzora PDF 59K Parashat Tazria-Metzora
God's presence is manifest in how He rewards and equally manifest in how He punishes. The key is to recognize God's power in all its manifestations.
--Rabbi Rallis Wiesenthal
Acharey Mot PDF 68K Parashat Acharei Mot-Kedoshim
There are moments in the life of any spiritually sensitive soul when s/he longs to scale the heights and loose the bonds to achieve union with God.
--Rabbi Ephraim I. Zimand
Kedoshim PDF 68K Parashat Acharei Mot-Kedoshim
There are moments in the life of any spiritually sensitive soul when s/he longs to scale the heights and loose the bonds to achieve union with God.
--Rabbi Ephraim I. Zimand
Emor PDF 64K Parashat Emor
True piety, true religiosity, requires action. What good is it to know all about the meaning of tzedakah if one never provides assistance to the poor?
--Rabbi Martin J. Berman
PDF 89K Parashat Emor
One need not be a priest, a kohen, to be concerned about the details of living a life of sanctity; for that matter, one need not even be Jewish.
--Rabbi Kenneth Greene
Behar PDF 72K Parashat Behar-Bechukotai
Only God could be the Author Who gave the Torah on Mt. Sinai. Only God could promise a triple crop in the sixth year.
--Rabbi Mark Hillel Kunis
PDF 54K Parashat B’har-B’chukotai
God never said that this life would be a Gan Eden, a Garden of Eden. Yet, we also know that Hashem never told us that this life must be a Gehinom, a Hell.
--Rabbi Mitchell Kornspan
Bechukotai PDF 72K Parashat Behar-Bechukotai
Only God could be the Author Who gave the Torah on Mt. Sinai. Only God could promise a triple crop in the sixth year.
--Rabbi Mark Hillel Kunis
PDF 54K Parashat B’har-B’chukotai
God never said that this life would be a Gan Eden, a Garden of Eden. Yet, we also know that Hashem never told us that this life must be a Gehinom, a Hell.
--Rabbi Mitchell Kornspan

Numbers

ParashaLinkDescription
Bemidbar PDF 77K Numbers, Numbers, and more Numbers: Do They All Add Up?
Every society that tries to dehumanize people takes away their names. A culture that recognizes the importance of the individual, recognizes each person by name.
--Rabbi David Willig
PDF 68K Parashat Bamidbar
Most names have a history behind them. Our tradition tells us that one’s Jewish name contains a clue to one’s destiny, no matter how it was conferred.
--Rabbi Mark Kunis
Naso PDF 83K Parashat Naso
...if we want to understand and emulate the act of becoming a Nazir... We should separate our thoughts from the indecent and profane.
--Rabbi Martin J. Berman
PDF 83K Parashat Naso
Peace can never be private property; peace always has to be shared.
--Rabbi Pinchas Klein
PDF 69K Parashat Naso
Is being a Nazir good or bad? It can be good, it can be bad, and it's almost always ugly!
--Rabbi Richard Wolpoe
Beha'alotecha PDF 67K Parashat Beha’alotekha: As Long as the Candle is Burning
This week's Torah portion of Beha'alotekha begins with a passage ... describing the lighting of the menorah.... Lighting candles is on my mind. This past Shabbat (Sivan 14), I lit a memorial candle at home in commemoration of my mother's first yahrzeit.
--Rabbi Robert Pilavin
PDF 78K Parashat Beha’alotekha: The Whispering Campaign
Whispering Campaign: (idiomatic) A method of persuasion in which damaging rumors are deliberately spread concerning a person, while the source of the rumors tries to avoid detection.
--Rabbi Chaim Solomon
Shelach PDF 61K Sh’lach Lekha
There is a good reason that the Torah commands us "not to add nor to subtract" from it. By staying focused, we do not make it too difficult to observe that which God wants from us.
--Rabbi Len Zucker
PDF 64K Parashat Sh’lach
We stand at the borders of the loss of our pettiness, the beginning of greatness. The choice isn't easy. But it is magnificent!
--Rabbi Yaakov Siegel
Korach PDF 84K Parashat Korach
Jews are taught to question everything, to examine every side of an issue. Children do this naturally, and we should encourage them in finding answers to their questions. But can asking questions go too far?
--Rabbi Dr. Moshe P. Weisblum
PDF 70K Parashat Korach
One wonders why the world chooses to believe the empty charges of the enemies of Israel rather than look at the plain truth. This parasha can perhaps give us some insight. This week we read about the rebellion of Korach and his followers against the authority of Moses and Aaron.
--Rabbi Gerald Sussman
Chukat PDF 79K Parashat Chukat / Balak – July 4th 2009
Time and again, we see the Jewish contribution to American society--to its very existence. We should feel proud to be connected to these great Americans and patriots.
--Rabbi Dr. Moshe P. Weisblum
PDF 72K Parashat Hukat
Moses missed an opportunity to strengthen people's faith in God. This is an allegory for what happens to all of us, all too frequently. People we care about are sometimes hurt by our words or actions and we don't know exactly what we did to cause such offense.
--Rabbi Steve Suson
Balak PDF 79K Parashat Chukat / Balak – July 4th 2009
Time and again, we see the Jewish contribution to American society--to its very existence. We should feel proud to be connected to these great Americans and patriots.
--Rabbi Dr. Moshe P. Weisblum
PDF 85K Parashat Balak - Balaam and Darryl Strawberry: It’s Not About Potential
Balaam was an ancient version of Darryl Strawberry. He had all the potential in the world but failed to live up to it.
--Rabbi Steven Saks
Pinchas PDF 61K Parashat Pinchas
The monthly renewal of the Moon is a symbol for the renewal of our People, as well as our own individual quest for coming out of darkness into the fullness of light, with the hope of a future, infinitely brighter light.
--Rabbi Yaakov Siegel
PDF 82K Parashat Pinchas
Our Parsha teaches us that although peace may be the last word it is not the first word.
--Rabbi Dr Pinchas Klein
Mattot PDF 66K Parashat Mattot-Mas’ei
Moab was certainly as guilty as Midian for waging war on the Israelites. Why then didn't the Moabites deserve God's wrath...?
--Rabbi Jeffrey Miller
PDF 88K Parashat Mattot/Masei 5770
Moses tells them that if they fulfill their bargain, they will be “neki’im” from G-d and from the Israel. The word “neki’im” means clean. At best, this means that Reuben and Gad will not be in trouble. But there are other implications.
--Rabbi Kalman Winnick
Massei PDF 66K Parashat Mattot-Mas’ei
Moab was certainly as guilty as Midian for waging war on the Israelites. Why then didn't the Moabites deserve God's wrath...?
--Rabbi Jeffrey Miller
PDF 88K Parashat Mattot/Masei 5770
Moses tells them that if they fulfill their bargain, they will be “neki’im” from G-d and from the Israel. The word “neki’im” means clean. At best, this means that Reuben and Gad will not be in trouble. But there are other implications.
--Rabbi Kalman Winnick

Deuteronomy

ParashaLinkDescription
Devarim PDF 63K Parashat Devarim
I look back now, after twenty-five years in the rabbinate, to the various human events that have added texture to the texts and messages I have endeavored to share with those I am blessed to lead and teach.
--Rabbi Lawrence S. Zierler
Vaetchanan PDF 65K Parashat Va’etchanan
The question [...] remains, why, if the Ten Commandments were so important did the rabbis remove it from the service?
--Rabbi Kenneth A. Greene
PDF 66K Va’etchanan
They tell you not to bow down to any idols because they will pollute your mind and stop you from achieving God’s purpose. You will be filled with superstition and hate and false notions, which will destroy the unity of the universe, and thus not allow you to discover nature’s laws and benefits. Not only is idolatry immoral, but it impedes man’s conquest of the universe. It will make him a perpetual prisoner of the Stone Age.
--Rabbi Sherman Kirshner
Ekev PDF 69K Parashat Ekev
Our Talmud tells us that our ancient rabbis debated how best to balance our desire to serve God with our needs in this world. Like all good debates, the matter is not resolved.
--Rabbi Noah Gradofsky
Re'eh PDF 73K Parashat Re’eh
God and His ways are far beyond human capacity to understand or imagine. Yet we try to understand the ways God commands us to follow and our relationship with God by projecting images from our human experience.
--Rabbi Leonard Levy
Shofetim PDF 65K Parashat Shoftim
To live a life of justice is to realize that within each of us is a little spark of the Divine and to remember always that each of us is created in the image of the Divine.
--Rabbi Jeffrey Rappoport
PDF 65K Parashat Shoftim
For me, halakhah is the crystallization of the ideal harmony between an abstract ideal and human nature, what is good and right and what can be done.
--Rabbi Robert Pilavin
Ki Tetzei PDF 59K Parashat Ki Tetze
With all the disagreements, there are still matters on which most Jews and most Jewish organizations agree. When we work together with other Jews, we are able to fight against our common enemies.
--Rabbi Irvin S. Beigel
PDF 72K Parashat Ki Teitzei
In some circles, it is fashionable to focus almost exclusively on the ritual commandments in Judaism. As important as they are, one should never forget the ethical, moral and interpersonal mitzvot, as well. Indeed, one without the other is not only "out of balance", but contradicts precisely what the Torah requires of us — as this week's reading demonstrates in such detail.
--Rabbi Jonathan Porath
Ki Tavo PDF 79K Parashat Ki Tavo
Moses, as understood by Rashi, reminds us: Treat every day as a new day filled with God's commandments, and with the closeness of the Jews' relationship with God.
--Rabbi Noah Gradofsky
PDF 119K Parashat Ki Tavo
Each of us [has] a missive, addressed personally and lovingly to us, from the Master of the World, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, the real Commander-in-Chief. This message calls each of us, individually, to the most crucial and cosmic assignment we could possible imagine: to make ourselves and all of Creation holy. It must be done now – today.
--Rabbi Rallis Wiesenthal
Nitzavim PDF 62K Parashat Nitzavim-Vayelekh
You must at least make a choice, even when you cannot be certain it is the right or best choice. However before deciding which path to follow, you have to stop and evaluate, as best you can, in which direction to go. It is a "Nitzavim- Vayelekh moment."
--Rabbi Ephriam I. Zimand
Vayelech PDF 62K Parashat Nitzavim-Vayelekh
You must at least make a choice, even when you cannot be certain it is the right or best choice. However before deciding which path to follow, you have to stop and evaluate, as best you can, in which direction to go. It is a "Nitzavim- Vayelekh moment."
--Rabbi Ephriam I. Zimand
Haazinu
--
Vezot Haberachah
--

Special Days

NameLinkDescription
Pesach PDF 111K Kadesh u'R'chatz - 14 steps or 15 steps?
It is clear to me that the number 15 is magical this night - and indeed in general - as a significant number of steps in ascending.
--Rabbi Richard Wolpoe
Shabbat Chol Hamoed Pesach PDF 88K Is Pesach 'Passover' or Something Else?
The word Pesach... might not mean Passover after all. I wish to bring you two witnesses who testify to a completely different meaning of the word.
--Rabbi Richard Wolpoe
PDF 65K Parashat Hol Hamoed
Judaism teaches that every Jewish soul is precious. Every Jew is a child of God regardless of whether they are wise, wayward, simple or a mute.
--Rabbi Shlomo Segal
Shabbat HaGadol PDF 81K Of God and Man
God gave Yom Tov to Man; for to know when Yom Tov falls, we go to the Beit Din and they decide - the dates of the Holidays are completely in Man's hands. That dichotomy falls away when it comes to Pesach. It belongs neither to Man alone, nor to God.
--Rabbi Ronald D. Price
Shabbat Zachor PDF 65K The Truly Forgotten
The Jewish nation has had many enemies. Why, then, single out Amalek's act as particularly contemptible? What was it about Amalek that was especially despicable?
--Rabbi Ira Grussgott
Shavuot PDF 63K Commitment
All those who make the effort, like Ruth, are considered worthy. How much you know is not as important as making the effort to grow.
--Rabbi Wayne Allen
PDF 72K
Being chosen does not confer any sort of genetic superiority; rather, being chosen means that we choose to develop our relationship with God.
--Rabbi Steven Saks
PDF 61K Freedom From, Freedom To
Only for the briefest moment were we escaping from. For the next 48 days, our escape was toward Torah...
--Rabbi Richard Wolpoe
PDF 53K Giving and Receiving
What a teacher shares is not necessarily what the student learns.
--Rabbi Bruce Ginsburg
PDF 67K If the Torah is our Constitution, Then What is its Preamble?
Our charge is to obey God, to guard/observe the compact, to become a priestly government and a holy nation. This compact is not with individuals. It is with the Nation of Israel at large.
--Rabbi Richard Wolpoe
PDF 71K Midrash: "Kafa HaKB"H Har K'gigit" (Shabbat 88A)
The Midrash never says that God planned to kill us -- merely that we would be buried by the mountain. It's worth examining what that might mean.
--Rabbi Robert Pilavin
PDF 64K Perfect Misunderstandings: Akdamut and Yetziv Pitgam
It is amazing how people can misperceive old constructs by viewing them with modern eyes. For example, some are uncomfortable with the fact that Jacob had four wives.
--Rabbi Richard Wolpoe
PDF 65K The Ten Commandments, and Their Back Story
God did not impose His commandments in order to enslave us; He gave us His commandments to draw us closer to Him by sanctifying ourselves by following His laws.
--Rabbi Steve Saks
PDF 61K Visiting the Sick and Comforting the Mourner
In moral mathematics, we prefer a kindness that keeps faith with both the dead and the living.
--Rabbi Robert Pilavin
PDF 66K Shavuot
[On Shavuot] we don’t read the story of Yitro. Why? Did not Yitro also embrace God above all other gods?
--Rabbi Richard Wolpoe
Shemini Atzeret PDF 135K Shmini Atzeret
When I recite Yizkor, I think about my father who died too soon to see a gray hair on his head and I think about my only son, who bears his name.
--Rabbi Jeffrey Miller