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The Weekly 613

Mitzvahs of the Torah Portion

Study a commandment or commandments that appear in each of the weekly Torah portions.

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Cooking on a Holiday
Parsha Beshalach
The Torah portion of Beshalach hints to the idea that one may not cook food on a Jewish holiday that will be eaten on Shabbat unless one first makes an "eruv tavshilin." What is an eruv tavshilin and how does it connect to the idea of Jewish love and unity?
Remember the Sabbath Day
Parsha Yitro
How do we perform the commandment of "remembering" Shabbat? Maimonides explains that it is by marking the beginning of Shabbat by reciting Kiddush and marking the end of Shabbat by reciting Havdallah.
Audio | 24:42
Parsha Mishpatim
What are the responsibilities of a person who is paid to watch an article for someone else? What if it is done as an unpaid favor? Four different kinds of bailees are compared to their spiritual counterparts as four approaches to the service of G-d.
Gold, Silver, Copper
Parsha Terumah
"Make for me a sanctuary" (Exodus 25:8) was first stated when the Jews built a portable sanctuary in the wilderness. This building was to be made from three metals: gold, silver, and copper. How do these three metals correspond to three levels of spiritual service?
Washing Before Prayer
Parsha Ki-Tisa
The priests would wash before performing their service in the Holy Temple. This is the basis for our washing before prayer. We study two applications of this law, one in Maimonides and one in the rulings of R' Shneur Zalman of Liadi.
Sanctifying Time
Audio | 24:41
Sanctifying Time
Parshat Hachodesh
The first mitzvah given to the Jewish nation was to “sanctify time” by establishing a calendar. How do we make time holy?
The Power of Mikvah
Audio | 26:55
The Power of Mikvah
Coming Face to Face with G-d
Immersing in a mikvah (a ritual pool of water) purifies one who is ritually impure. Discover five layers of meaning to mikvah.
Loving Your Fellow as Yourself
Five Levels of Love
The verse states: you shall love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:18). How can we love our fellow Jew as our self? Five interpretations into mitzvah of ahavat yisroel.
Freedom: Being G-d's Servant
Parsha Behar
The different categories of servants in the Torah, and their symbolism and relevance even nowadays in our spiritual service of G-d.
Be Fruitful and Multiply
Peru U’revu: The mitzvah to bear children
The first mitzvah in the Torah is to have children. This class examines details of this commandment and five levels of understanding.
Love the Convert
Audio | 29:24
Love the Convert
Conversion in Judaism
Understanding the process of Jewish conversion on five levels.
The Eternal Covenant
The Mitzvah of Brit Milah
Why is circumcision the first mitzvah that G-d gave Abraham? This class explores the meaning and many other facets of this essential mitzvah.
The Jewish Wedding
Audio | 23:27
The Jewish Wedding
Understanding the Mitzvah of Marriage
A deeper look at some of the unique components of the Jewish wedding ceremony, and insights on the special mitzvah of marriage.
The Secret to Becoming Rich
The Mitzvah of Tzedakah
Discover layers of significance to the mitzvah of tzedakah, which is so much more that simple charity.
The Ladder of Prayer
Parsha Vayeitzei
What is the objective of prayer? Discover five layers of understanding to the mitzvah of prayer.
Understanding Shelichut
The power of an emissary (shliach)
Five levels of meaning to the concept of shaliach, an emissary to carry out the mission for which one was appointed.
Reciting the Shema Prayer
Affirming the Oneness and Unity of G-d
“Hear O’ Israel…G-d is One” is arguably the most essential statements of the Jewish faith. Discover layers of meaning to this central verse we recite daily.
The Mitzvah to Study Torah
Who, What, When, and Why?
Torah study has always been the bedrock of the Jewish People. What are the parameters of this mitzvah, and what’s the ultimate purpose in learning G-d’s infinite wisdom?
Redeeming the Firstborn
The Mitzvah of Pidyon HaBen
After thirty complete days, we redeem the firstborn son through giving five silver coins to the Kohen in the boy’s stead. Understanding the mitzvah of Pidyon HeBen on five levels.
The Role of the Jewish Leader
Cleaving to a Tzaddik
Understanding the mitzvah to cleave to G-d via connecting to a Tzaddik, and the unique role of a Rebbe in each generation.
It’s Never Too Late
Understanding Pesach Sheni on Five Levels
Two Types of Matzah
Audio | 28:09
Two Types of Matzah
Understanding the deeper meaning and symbolism behind the mitzvah to eat matzah on Passover night.
Erasing the Memory of Amalek
We are commended to remember how the nation of Amalek attacked our people following the Exodus. What is the spiritual meaning behind this mitzvah?
Not to Mix Milk and Meat
The Torah prohibits the mixture of milk and meat. Understanding this mitzvah on five levels.
Prophecy and Prophets
What is the purpose and function of prophecy, and could there be prophets today? Understanding the mitzvah to listen to Torah true prophets and the significance of prophesy.
Transporting the Holy Ark
The Holy Ark in the Mishkan (Divine Sanctuary) had many features that contain numerous layers of meaning and symbolism.
The Tzitz
Audio | 18:20
The Tzitz
The gold band worn by the high priest
One of the special garments and articles worn by the high priest in the Holy Temple was a golden band placed on the forehead. Understanding the significance and symbolism of the Tzitz.
A Half Dollar of Fire
Giving the Half Shekel
Five layers of meaning to the mitzvah of giving half a shekel.
Building the Mishkan
The order for constructing the sanctuary
We find a discrepancy in the sequence of instructions to build the mishkan. Presented is a mystical understanding of the order of three things G-d conveys to Moses differently from how Moses instructed the people: resting on Shabbat, building the structure, and making the vessels.
The Leper in the House of Rebbe
All About the Metzora
Understanding the subject of ‘tzaraat’ (the divine affliction of discoloration) on five different levels.
Blood: The Father of all Mitzvahs
The Mitzvah to Cover the Blood with Earth
Upon ritual slaughtering of fowl or undomesticated animals, we are commanded to cover the spilled blood with earth. Gain a deeper understanding of this mitzvah of Kisuy HaDam (covering the blood) on five levels.
The Levites Land in the Messianic Era
The Torah mandates that the Levites not inherit a portion in the Land of Israel like the rest of the tribes, for they are to be set apart for the service of G-d and guiding the people spiritually. Will there be a change in the division of land in the times of Moshiach?
A Holy Exchange
Audio | 21:14
A Holy Exchange
The mitzvah of Temurah on five levels
If one endeavors to substitute his animal sacrifice with a different animal, whether superior or inferior, both maintain a holy status. Learn about this mitzvah of Temurah (exchanging sacrifices) on five levels of understanding.
The Mitzvah of Tzitzis on Five Levels
Learn all about the tallit and tzitzit, its meaning and special significance.
Is Joy a Mitzvah and Is Sadness a Sin?
Understanding Simcha on Five Levels
Serving G-d with joy and gladness of the heart is a fundamental teaching of the Torah. Learn five layers of meaning to Simcha for a mitzvah.
The Blessings of the Kohen
Understanding Birkat Kohanim on Five Levels
Guarding the Holy Temple
The mitzvah of ‘shemirat hamikdash’ on five levels
The Incense Offering
Understanding the Ketoret spices on five levels
Giving Grace After a Meal
The mitzvah of Birkat Hamazon on five levels
Learn enlightening layers of meaning and insights behind the after-blessing (known as Grace After Meal) recited after eating bread.
Can a Mortal Love G-d?
The mitzvah of loving Hashem on five levels
The Mitzvah of Marriage
Halachic components of betrothal and marriage, and their mystical dimension
Divorce in the Torah
The ‘Get’ and Divorce on Five Levels
The Megillah Reading on Five Levels
Explore the mitzvah to listen to the megillah on Purim
Giving Charity on Purim
The mitzvah of Matanot LaEvyonim on five levels
Man’s Marital Obligations
The mitzvah to provide for your wife
Explore the inner meaning of the husband’s three obligations to his wife as prescribed in the Torah.
The Mitzvah of Sotah
Understanding the “suspected adulteress” on five levels
The Mitzvah of Appointing a King
Understanding the Kingdom of David on five levels
The Mitzvah to Appoint Judges
Understanding the Sanhedrin on five levels
Make a Fence Around the Roof
Understanding the mitzvah of Maakah on five levels
The Torah obligates a new homeowner to build a fence on the roof to prevent anyone from falling.
The Law of a Pursuer
The mitzvah of Rodef on five levels
Building the Holy Temple
Who will build the third Beit HaMikdash?
The Mitzvah of Inheritance
Five levels of meaning and relevance
Burying the Dead
Audio | 19:23
Burying the Dead
Understanding the mitzvah of burial on five levels
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