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ב"ה

Talks on the Parasha

Judaism and Progress
An Essay on Bereishit
Genesis is preoccupied with fundamental questions, its narratives brimming with exemplary figures whose actions shape our lives today. Clearly, it would have been impossible to begin the Torah without them.
What Was Wrong With Noah?
An Essay on Noach
Ascending in holiness is not a simple matter. It involves an intrinsic danger, to which Noah fell prey. When one is occupied with a world that is entirely holy, he lives in it alone, and he is liable to forget that there are other people that exist in the world.
The Challenge of Blind Faith
An Essay on Lech Lecha
Why should a person get up and leave – even if he is promised blessing and success – if there is seemingly no rhyme or reason for doing so? Nullifying the “why” is the challenge here, the true test of the trial of lech lecha.
Sacrificing Morality
An Essay on Vayeira
Before facing the trial of love for his own child, Abraham was forced to ask, “Where is my whole world? Where is my whole concept of justice? Where is my morality?” At the Akeidah, Abraham sacrifices not only his son’s body but his own soul.
The Calm After the Storm
An Essay on Chayei Sarah
Every person’s life consists of two different modes. One mode is characterized by ascents and descents, while the other is characterized by calm and tranquility, without major events or great excitement.
When Jacob Discovered He Was Israel
An Essay on Vayeitzei
Far from home, Jacob now must struggle to maintain his inner spirituality.
The Peril of Perfection
An Essay on Vayishlach
In this world, we cannot attain absolute perfection, absolute truth, or absolute good. What is required of us is an incredibly difficult form of existence. We must live continually with partial truth, which stems from compromise.
When You Want to Just Give It a Break
An Essay on Vayeishev
The Talmud states, “For the wicked, sleep is good for them and good for the world, but for the righteous, it is bad for them and bad for the world.” There is no rest for the righteous. When a tzaddik wants to rest, God does not let him, as if to say that the lack of tranquility is an essential part of being a tzaddik.
It's About Time
An Essay on Mikeitz
“And it came to pass, at the end of two full years” signals that the time has come for something to occur. The “how” of the matter is trivial – Pharaoh has a dream, the chief butler happens to be present, other events align, and ultimately, they all cross the threshold simultaneously, reaching their ketz at precisely the right time.
Perseverance Vs. Perfection
An Essay on Vayigash
The Joseph-Judah relationship and the points at which their paths converge continue throughout history. From the sale of Joseph onward, Judah and Joseph constantly interact with each other, and their relationship continues in various forms. Here, in Parshat Vayigash, their interaction is a confrontation, as the Midrash comments, “‘Then Judah went up to him’ – advancing to battle.”
The Concealed 'End of Times'
An Essay on Vayechi
Jacob attempts to cut through the veil that conceals the events of the future, but he is stopped at a certain stage. Why does this happen to him?
The Cyclical Exodus
An Essay on Parshat Shemot
The exile and the redemption in Exodus were not a one-time event, but merely the paradigm for an event that recurs again and again throughout our history—exile followed by redemption followed by exile again—and thus the metamorphosis of the Jewish people continues.
In the First Place
An Essay on Parshat Bo
Just as there are first fruits of the soil, there are also first deeds and first dreams. Here as well, people become more sophisticated as they mature, as do their aspirations and dreams. Nevertheless, there is a special significance to one’s first dreams.
Pharaoh's Repentance
An Essay on Parshat Va'eira
It can be a great accomplishment for a person to admit, “I have sinned this time.” But there is a higher level, where a person’s soul searching moves him to such a degree that he declares, “G-d is righteous, and I and my people are wicked.”
What Happens When the Miracles Stop
An Essay On Parshat Beshalach
Man’s glory is his free will, for his ability to decide is a kind of act of G‑d. Man can use his free will to his own detriment, or as an expression of glory and dignity.
Moses the Egalitarian
An Essay on Parshat Yitro
On the plane of the soul there can be no criterion by which to determine who is higher and who is lower. As a result, it can truly be said that “all the people in the community are holy.”
Divinity Is in the Details
An Essay on Parshat Mishpatim
The contraction that manifests itself in Parshat Mishpatim exists in the nature of the world as well. In our lives, the most profound and uplifting things are found precisely in the mundane details of the daily routine.
On Simplicity
An Essay on Shoftim
What does it mean to “Be wholehearted with God your Lord”? It is not so simple to determine what type of person qualifies as tamim.
On Attempting to
An Essay on Ki Teitzei
One end of the Torah is here on earth and the other end is in heaven, and it is on this bridge that G-d wants us to walk.
Blessings and Curses
An Essay on Ki Tavo
Why does the Torah cite only the curses and not use the positive language of the blessings?
Choose Life So That You May Live
An Essay on Vayelech
There is nothing worse than perceiving the Torah as an inherited burden, because there is absolutely nothing that one can do about it.
On the Essence of Shabbat Shuvah
An Essay on Shabbat Shuvah
There is an essential problem in the combination of Shabbat and teshuvah.
Moses’ Blessing and Jacob’s Blessing
An Essay on V'Zot HaBeracha
Parshat V’zot HaBerachah has two focuses: the blessing that Moses bestows on Israel before his death and the account of his death.