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Article Summaries of Editors' Picks

Conquering the Accuser's Turf
The Zohar
When G-d created the world, He divided up the area for settlement on one side and the desolate places on the other side. All goodness and all sustenance flow down to the world from there.

There was no desolate place in the whole world as barren as the Sinai desert, where Israel spent 40 years breaking the power and strength of the forces of evil, known as the "Other Side".
The Many Moons of Joseph
The Holy Ari
Moses blessed Joseph's portion of the Land of Israel "with choice fruits that are produce of the light of the sun, and with choice fruits brought forth by the various phases and appearances of the moon."

The moon is a manifestation of the sefira of malchut, the source of the souls of the Jewish people. The moon was originally intended to be equal to the sun, but was diminished, i.e. sent to retrieve the sparks of holiness from the exile. The verse quoted speaks of the Messianic Era, when the unending waxing and waning of the moon will not longer be relevant.
The Mighty Hand of Justice
Mystical Classics
"And in all the mighty hand…and in all the great terror."

The concluding verse of the Torah alludes to the wonders that Moses displayed during the Redemption: the division of the Red Sea, the smiting of the firstborn, the division of the Red Sea, and the giving of the Torah.
Written in Tears
Chasidic Masters
"So Moses, the servant of G-d, died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of G-d." How could Moses write these words while still alive?

The Torah preceded the creation of the world by two thousand years, and was originally created as a mass of letters. When the holy stories of the Torah occurred, these letters arranged themselves into patterns of words and stories.

When the time came for Moses to die, G-d told Moses the letters that remained as they were still intermingled, without being combined into words.
The Arrow, the Spear and the Sword
Contemporary Kabbalists
The two major obstacles to our conquest of the seven Canaanite nations are the "arm" and the "head." The "head" is the mental block resulting from cold calculation of the odds of success. The "arm" is the physical resources at our disposal which we are loathe to expend on on these seemingly hopeless pursuits.

We must therefore, "tear off the arm with the head," i.e. deny the validity of both these suppositions, "together, in one blow" with our spiritual "sword" - our submission to G-d’s will, which we affirm whenever we recite the Shema.
Before Their Eyes
Mystic Story
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