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Parshah Curiosities

Intriguing Insights on the Parshah

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1:02:03
Parshah Curiosities: Noach
A deeper analysis of the Torah narrative of the animals being saved with Noach and his family in the ark offers a fascinating discovery into the mysterious phenomena of the phoenix bird.
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1:00:15
Parshah Curiosities: Lech Lecha
A superficial reading of the biblical account of Abraham and Sarah’s episode in Egypt, where he tells her to say she’s his sister so they don’t kill him, is shrouded in mystery. Delve into the classical commentaries and discover the missing link in this fascinating narrative.
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1:17:00
Parshah Curiosities: Vayeira
When did the extra-terrestrial angels visiting Abraham come and go? A closer look at the storyline seems to pose conflicting accounts. Learn some of the related commentaries on the nature of this visit that will challenge the conventional understanding.
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1:04:51
Does the Torah allude to today’s chilling current events?
Parshat Vayeira contains a curious narrative about a huge ball held to celebrate Isaac’s coming-of-age. An exploration of this event, via little-known, yet trusted sources, lays bare fascinating details—as the investigation segues into secret bible codes that seem to compellingly allude to the present day Iranian showdown with Israel.
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1:14:36
Parshah Curiosities: Lech Lecha
The portion of Lech-Lecha begins with G-d calling Abraham to his destiny. Strangely, in the glowing promises of the glorious future awaiting him, the Torah specifically mentions a name change. But why would modifying something as external as a name be such a big deal? This lecture reveals the true meaning of your Jewish name—as far more than a simple label for convenience. You'll discover why Abraham (and Sarah’s) names required modification and learn to appreciate the deeper meaning behind the incredible evolutionary process that produced the world's first Jews!
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1:06:15
Parshah Curiosities: Chayei Sarah
The Torah details the first plot of land Abraham purchases in the land of Israel, which was the Cave of Machpelah area in Chevron. Discover fascinating facts about this cave and its amazing background story.
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1:11:46
Visiting the resting place of a Tzaddik in the Torah
This historic overview of Abraham’s burial in the Cave of Machpelah becomes a springboard to clarify the importance of sacred burial grounds. Discover why we pray at the resting place of Tzadikim (the truly righteous) even though we believe in addressing G-d directly. See how going to the Ohel isn’t a recent phenomenon, but a sacred Torah-true and time-honoured tradition that’s as old as Judaism itself!
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1:24:48
Parshah Curiosities: Toldot
The birth and development of Yaakov and Eisav was rife with inexplicable tension and conflict. Explore the genome, nature and nurture of these wrestling twins in the womb, and how their phenomenal twin birth may correlate with modern science.
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1:18:53
Parshah Curiosities: Vayeitzei
On his journey leaving Israel, Jacob sleeps a night at Mount Moriah, where he has a special dream. Prior to retiring he surrounds himself with rocks, and the next morning he anoints oil on the monument of stone. Discover what is the point in all of this.
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49:55
Parshah Curiosities: Toldot
The story of Yaakov deceiving his father and stealing the blessings from his brother Eisav is full of mystery. One peculiar detail is Eisav’s special garment that Yaakov wears for the scheme.
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59:23
The story of the world’s first Jewish tombstone!
Learn the biblical story of our matriarch Rachel’s passing and unusual burial at the side of the road, and discover the incredible significance of Rachel’s Tomb.
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1:20:49
Parshah Curiosities: Vayishlach
There’s an ancient custom to recite the Torah portion of Vayishlach prior to embarking on dangerous travel. Yaakov’s encounter with Eisav conveys remarkable directions in facing unnatural challenges and mortal enemies.
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1:00:04
Parshah Curiosities: Vayeishev
In the divisive episode of Joseph and his brothers, the Torah highlights time and again the special jacket Joseph receives from his father. A deeper look uncovers how this coat captures the essence of the entire saga.
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1:08:16
Parshah Curiosities: Vayigash
When the Egyptians spend everything they own in buying food from Joseph, he collects and gives all the money and wealth to Pharaoh. There’s a Midrash stating that Yosef hid three treasures from these riches. Discover intriguing insight and meaning in this otherwise enigmatic homily.
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43:00
Beyond the Werewolf Legend
The Torah relates that there was absolute danger in Binyamin leaving his father Yaakov to travel to Egypt. Learn a truly remarkable interpretation of this strange episode.
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51:12
The Jewish Werewolf Transformation
Why does Jacob bless the righteous Benjamin as a wild wolf? How is this blessing a virtue? Discover a spiritual take on the positive skin-shifting traits of Binyamin.
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59:21
Parshah Curiosities: Bo
Learn the many layers of meaning to the Torah’s instruction to guard and watch the Passover matzahs.
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1:13:58
Parshah Curiosities: Beshalach
What exactly was the heavenly food called manna, and what does it represent? Discover its meaning and relevance for us living in the 21st century.
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47:44
Parshah Curiosities: Ki Tisa
Upon learning of the grave sin of the golden calf, Moses descends the mountain and breaks the tablets. Why the need to break the tablets, instead of simply not giving them to the Jewish people?
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47:43
Parshah Curiosities: Vayechi
Conventional wisdom says that the ideal place for a Jew to be buried is in the land of Israel, yet upon examining classic Torah sources, we surprisingly discover that it’s not that simple—there seems to be conflicting Torah traditions…
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1:14:19
Parshah Curiosities: Shemot
The second book of the Torah, which is called the Book of Names, begins with again listing the names of the twelve tribes. Explore the importance and influence of a name, and other intriguing curios on Jewish names. For example, why don’t we find reference to anyone being named Gad and Asher – names from the twelve tribes – throughout the entire Talmudic era?
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1:12:58
Parshah Curiosities: Va'eira
Twice in the narrative we find Moses protesting and resisting G-d’s mission to tell Pharaoh to let the Jews go due to his difficulty to speak and sealed mouth. What was the remedy to this speech impediment, and why was he challenged this way in his role to be a powerful communicator?
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1:12:38
Parshah Curiosities: Bo
The plague of darkness was incredibly dense and intense for the Egyptians, while the Israelite nation enjoyed a miraculously bright and lit-up environment. This class will shed light and reveal obscure facets of this remarkable plague, and the layers of purpose it served in preparation for the Exodus.
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47:01
Parshah Curiosities: Beshalach
Upon leaving Egypt, Moses takes the remains of Joseph as they journey through the desert. Why did Moses himself have to get involved in removing it from Egypt? Discover the incredible details of how the coffin was retrieved, and subsequently transported miraculously across the desert. Learn how Joseph’s bones were actually an embodiment of life, rather than death.
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52:58
Parshah Curiosities: Yitro
The Torah’s narrative detailing Mass Revelation at Mount Sinai and the momentous giving of the Torah to the entire Jewish people demonstrates the unique relationship between Jewish women and our holy Torah. Discover the secret story behind the instructions Moses received about engaging the Jewish women before the Jewish men, and see how that impacts Judaism today. You’ll also learn the mysterious story of a special gold necklace worn by our matriarch Leah!
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1:13:30
Parshah Curiosities: Ki-Tisa
The most sacred service in the Holy Temple is the ‘Ketoret’ or incenses. Discover incredible secrets of this strange blend made of assorted aromatic herbs and drugs. How was this mysterious compound of holy hallucinogens created? This class may elevate your consciousness and possibly even shed light on the debate over legalizing marijuana today!
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28:14
Parshah Curiosities
The most sacred and powerful service in the Holy Temple was the offering of the Ketoret incenses (even transcending the animal sacrifices). Explore the mystical dimension of this exceptional offering of anomic fragrances that have the transformative properties.
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1:04:32
Parshah Curiosities: Vayakhel
The Torah’s gives a glowing description of the women’s exceptional contributions towards constructing the Mishkan—highlighting the feminine superiority of faith. This class also uncovers intriguing nuggets on the art of spinning goat-hair, a ghost-written prayer, and the special connection to Rosh Chodesh.
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57:09
Parshah Curiosities: Vayakhel-Pekudei
Examining the commentaries on the seemingly redundant word “mishkan” (Tabernacle) reveals profound insight into the everlasting nature of the mishkan.
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1:15:50
Parshah Curiosities: Pekudei
An overview of historic holiness—more than 13 centuries of sacred architecture. A stunning snapshot of the different sacred sanctuaries that served as the epicenter of Jewish spiritual life from Moses to Rabbi Akiva. Discover why the locations shifted in the past, but will never again. Learn how they moved, and why some were destroyed, while others simply faded away.
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1:14:32
Parshah Curiosities: Acharei-Mot
This class probes beneath the skin of the Torah’s strange aversion to blood; after all if meat’s kosher, what’s so bad about the red fluid found within? A wide range of vital life sources are analyzed, and their messages are effectively decoded as the profound ideas and philosophies of this bloodless Mitzvah mandate gush forth. Most profoundly we learn to appreciate how and why blood is thicker than water when it comes to our relationship with G-d!
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1:12:46
Parshah Curiosities: Kedoshim
This class gives an enhanced understanding of the importance attached to ethical business conduct, spelling out the Torah take on cheating your fellows in commerce in vivid detail. Discover why lying about “weight and measures” is like denying the Exodus itself!
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1:26:32
Reconciling the Omer’s three different narratives
This class provides a fresh and profoundly new understanding of the mitzvah of Sefirat Ha’Omer or “Counting the Omer”, which is found in Parshat Emor. You’ll discover how the three, and seemingly very different narratives attached to this observance and time of the year are actually woven from the same common threads. This incredible exposition about one of the best-known, yet possibly least understood Torah precepts, sews together a remarkable range of explanations from our Sages in an inspiring fashion!
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1:10:09
Shemita: an oasis of calm every seven years
The parshah of Behar opens with the mitzvah of Shemita, the grounding injunction to refrain working the Holy Land’s soil every seven years. This ground-breaking class uncovers treasures buried just beneath the crust of this most unusual biblical commandment. In addition to garnering a clear understanding of the exceptional scriptural syntax and a range of unique Torah teachings, you’ll discover a whole new level of consciousness and learn how to retain an oasis of calm even as some of the structures we may have centred our lives around appear to be collapsing!
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1:12:45
Joy in the Torah’s ‘Threats and Curses’
Several days ago a Texas mom named Candace Payne posted a video of herself laughing hysterically wearing a talking Chewbacca mask; it's since gone viral. Chewbacca roared, she laughed, and millions are laughing with her. But why? The setup is mundane: A woman in a van with a silly mask and a dash cam, yet incredibly the whole world went ape over it. This class finds an incredible link to the weekly Torah portion, and gets to the bottom of this remarkable phenomenon—giving you a Torah-true timeless take on this latest trend to sweep social media. Listen, learn and be delighted!
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1:10:51
Parshah Curiosities: Naso
This class carefully analyzes the proverbial Birkat Kohanim (the priestly blessings), which appear in this week’s Torah portion, Naso. Learn the answers to why an ordinary person’s blessing can be meaningful simply due to ancient genetics, what do the priestly blessings actually mean on a literal level, and finally insight into why we pray for our dreams during the times these blessings are chanted in synagogue.
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1:42:42
Parshah Curiosities: Behaalotecha
An intriguing overview of the biblical account of the Sinai desert journeys led by the Ark of G-d segues into two of the most famous yet least understood verses in the entire Chumash. It was with this formula that Moses prayerfully petitioned G-d for our protection, and tucked into its folds are the profoundest answer to the tragic yet historic pernicious anti-Semitism that has persisted for millennia. The timely and burning question: “Why do they hate us?” is frankly and candidly approached from an entirely new perspective. Discover a Torah-true take, and find out why identifying real haters empowers us to defeat them.
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1:16:14
Parshah Curiosities: Shelach
Moses selects scouts to inspect the Promised Land, and excite the people about their new home. Sadly most chose unwarranted negative reportage instead, dissuading the nation from journeying onward to Eretz Yisrael. To bolster their case, they harvest the land’s outlandishly huge and bizarre fruit using them to instill fear and despair into the hearts of the people. These insightful teachings shed sweet light on the sour grapes of this infamous story.
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1:20:45
Parshah Curiosities: Korach
Moses assumed an unusually aggressive position when faced with the mutiny led by the wealthy, arrogant scoundrel Korach. This profound analysis of the classical sources explains why all the drama. The anti-Moses mob’s bitter-end came sooner than expected—as a “ground-breaking” event swiftly swallowed the rebels. This class concludes with the story of”the men who returned from hell” and other little-known fascinating facts and incredible insights that brilliantly illuminate the shadowy abyss into which those rabble-rousers disappeared.
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1:22:49
Parshah Curiosities: Toldot
A profound, thought-provoking and fascinating exploration of how our forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob might have fulfilled the mitzvah of Tefillin in their own time! Discover shocking secrets about strange practices of our hallowed ancestors that may actually be influencing your life today!
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