ב"ה

Parshah Curiosities

Intriguing Insights on the Parshah

Filter by Topic
Show all
1:11:29
Parshah Curiosities: Vayeitzei
This fascinating exposition about Mother Leah reveals stunning details of her exquisite persona and the extraordinary power of (her) tears! See how her holy fervour becomes infectious; ultimately inspiring us all with intensified spiritual yearning.
Watch
1:10:36
Why we don’t eat sirloin steak
A tantalizing teaching about the improbable prohibition against sirloin steak; featuring varying flavours of rabbinic reasoning and seasoning. Discover the ultimate purpose behind this mitzvah of Gid Hanasheh (sciatic nerve); illuminating the sweep of Jewish history, down to the tiny details. Deeply scholarly, this rumination draws upon a wide range of classical sources, yet provides the student with inspiring and practical lessons for life.
Watch
1:13:06
Parshah Curiosities: Vayechi
This profound rumination about the last Patriarch’s unique final hours passes into a fascinating exploration into the custom of well-wishing one who sneezes. You’ll be shocked to discover the Torah-true origins to this seemingly superstitious practice, which then begs the question: why would an authentic Jewish practice enjoy near total universal appeal?
Watch
1:17:00
Parshah Curiosities: Shemot
The little-known and largely misunderstood story of Moses’ parentage is presented along with fascinating facts about the birth of our Jewish redeemer. Discover detailed descriptions of his first hours on planet earth; learn where his mother hid him, and why his family sent him down the river.
Watch
1:17:06
Parshah Curiosities: Yitro
The central theme of the parsha is Matan Torah; the momentous mass revelation our people experienced at Mount Sinai. Discover scintillating secrets of this unparalleled event in this incredible exposé on the proverbial Sinai Shofar sounding that, quite literally, blew the Israelite nation away.
Watch
1:32:36
Parshah Curiosities: Mishpatim
The wide range of mitzvot found in Parshat Mishpatim includes an admonition to treat foreigners preferentially, for “you yourself were foreigners in Egypt.” But why should personal refugee history be the reason to treat a stranger appropriately? Shouldn’t the right thing be done regardless of past experiences? Join us for this profound and timely teaching that seeks to solve a biblical mystery while introducing inspiring secrets about righteous converts, and the ancient sacred souls they successfully lay claim to.
Watch
1:07:43
Parshah Curiosities: Terumah
The eternal divine commandment to build a holy “House for G-d” was initially fulfilled with the mobile Mishkan of Moses—though the ultimate perfection of this mitzvah was only reached by the historic Jerusalem Temples atop Mt. Mariah. Yet, surprisingly the temporary desert structure remains our supreme source. Discover the amazing little secret to the staying power of that humble desert sanctuary, which eclipses the more impressive later structures and teaches us all an important lesson.
Watch
1:28:05
Parshah Curiosities: Tetzaveh
Parshat Tetzaveh contains Divine instructions about fashioning sacred priestly vestments. The most extraordinary and exquisite of them all: the High Priest’s magical Breastplate. Stunningly adorned with 12 precious gemstones set in purest gold; representing the Tribes of Israel before G-d—radiating incredible light, beauty and mystical power. It had to be securely fastened upon the heart of the Kohen Gadol; seemingly emblematic of national equality. Yet, a deeper analysis indicates gross disparities instead. This remarkable lecture delves into a wide range of sources to radically reframe the Breastplate paradigm and ultimately serves to define diversity from a Torah-true perspective!
Watch
1:28:14
Parsha Curiosities: Lech-Lecha
A fascinating exposé of the traditional chair universally designated for the Prophet Elijah at a Brit Milah ceremony. This lecture begins by fleshing out the spiritual character and impact engendered by sacred circumcision. We then proceed to peel away historical layers of deep meaning as we trace the surprising origins of the proverbial participation of Elijah a.k.a. the Covenantal Angel. Ultimately, you’ll see why all of this is as relevant as quantum physics, and makes all the difference today!
Watch
1:05:39
Parsha Curiosities: Vayeira
Isaac's baby bash attracts some pretty rude guests and crude comments. In trying to understand the irreverent behavior of an oversized world leader, a surprising narrative emerges in a remarkable true story of the Biblical origin of the proverbial rocking cradle and accompanying lullabies. In developing this unusual thesis about the foundational essence of a Torah education; a variety of fascinating facts, figures and fetishes are picked up along the way.
Watch
1:09:31
Parsha Curiosities: Chayei Sarah
Abraham’s famous servant looms large in the Bible with many virtuous qualities attributed to him in our sacred tradition. Yet, his master seems unable to trust him without administering a sacred oath. Why would such an outstandingly righteous person be so distrusted? This fascinating offering peels away the mysterious layers shrouding this legendary figure, to reveal his true identity.
Watch
1:22:54
Parsha Curiosities: Vayeitzei
Jacob’s carefully planned marriage is the only wedding party ever documented in the Torah. It ended up becoming an epic matrimonial mix-up, which surprisingly continues to affect the way we do Jewish weddings today. According to the literal biblical narrative, the groom assumed he married his beloved bride, only to find out the very next morning that, in fact, he married her sister. What exactly transpired on that surreal evening, and how would it be possible for a groom not to know who he married? Discover fascinating details that shed a great deal of light on this otherwise enigmatic story.
Watch
1:30:54
Parsha Curiosities: Vayishlach
Arriving in Shechem, Dina ventured out to observe the local girls. She was abducted by the Crown Prince, who violently raped and abused her. Without seeking counsel, two of her brothers brutally massacred the townspeople along with the perpetrator. Does the Torah sanction or condemn their unilateral actions?
Watch
1:17:19
Parsha Curiosities: Vayeishev
A fascinating peek behind the curtain on the biblical narrative of the outrageously salacious advances made by Potiphar’s wife as she lustfully attempted to seduce the strikingly handsome Joseph. Amazingly shedding lots of light on the true story of how he overcame this terrible temptation so propitiously.
Watch
1:22:18
Parsha Curiosities: Va'eira
A brief introduction about Moses’ first sermon (authored by G-d Himself!) – the language of its delivery and how the assembled would have understood it – takes a remarkable turn, segueing into mysterious language legends regarding the literary and spoken communication of our enslaved Hebrew ancestors. Peeling away layer after layer, we are introduced to remarkable communication codes that set us apart, despite the absence of unique national markings in ancient Egypt.
Watch
1:12:08
Parsha Curiosities: Bo
In the Biblical narrative of the 10th plague; the silence of the dogs seems deafening. Why does the Torah lavish so much attention to muzzled barking at a time of widespread death and devastation? During the course of this investigation, we reveal the unique Torah take on the close connection that people have had with dogs since the dawn of human history. Canine lovers will appreciate this fascinating class’s bark and bite, although the conclusion doesn't necessarily endorse the person-pet relationship paradigm.
Watch
1:09:09
Parsha Curiosities: Beshalach
Discover the fascinating story of what actually took place when the Sea of Reeds miraculously split open.
Watch
1:32:43
This profound and penetrating analysis of the scriptural verbiage employed to introduce the dermal discolorations called Tzara’at -the biblical anomaly of antiquity - is instructive as it’s inspirational. Following a basic overview, you’ll be introduced to a stunning display of the Oral Torah’s unbroken continuum of painstakingly developed teachings as they evolved over the ages. Be amazed at the array of legal and philosophical ideas conveyed by the use of a single biblical noun, which climaxes with deeply mystical insights into this seemingly obsolete concept that actually resonate with timely messaging and extraordinary urgency in our modern age of social media!
Watch
1:16:21
A timely and incisive discovery about the foundational biblical cornerstone; “Do not stand by as your fellow’s blood is being shed.” Presented in Toronto on the day after a horrific vehicular terrorist attack kills 10 innocent pedestrians on the peaceful city streets. This profound rumination about the extent of responsibility for others carefully scrutinizes the Oral Torah’s sacred teachings that accompany the scripture; concluding with a climatic analysis of Rashi’s unique commentary as illuminated by the Rebbe. This dissertation also offers critical commentary on the dangerous state of affairs in the Western World and its glaring lack of moral clarity!
Watch
1:26:59
The underlying principles of the mitzvah of Sefirat HaOmer
This presentation pioneers a novel approach to understanding the underlying principles of the biblical commandment to “Count the Omer.” Following the initial point of departure; demonstrating the need to frame the “counting” as a continuation and natural extension of the original Omer Offering itself – the thesis moves to develop a new look at “Sefirah Secrets” by examining the “Wave” ritual that seems to occupy a position of oversized importance.
Watch
1:17:07
The Torah’s identical repetition of the Inaugural Offerings brought by Israel’s tribal leaders, serves to make parshat Naso the longest Torah portion. Perhaps more pointedly though, it seems entirely superfluous; especially in view of the Scripture’s sparing nature. Yet, despite this obvious and glaring biblical anomaly; Rashi – our trusted master of mainstream meaning – appears to provide little rationale and no comfort at all. The explanation ultimately sheds light on Torah-true diversity and the importance of every person’s unique contribution in the rubric of spiritual life and divine service.
Watch
1:25:52
Parsha Curiosities: Behaalotecha
Discover the secret story of the Mosaic Trumpets signaling Sinai sojourns.
Watch
1:14:48
Parsha Curiosities: Balak
Balaam’s famous prophetic words “Ma Tovu” occupy a unique place of prominence in the Hebrew Scriptures, our daily prayers and Jewish liturgical compositions. Oftentimes even emblazoned on Holy Ark’s and Synagogue facades, they clearly contain many marvelous mysteries and secrets. Following a general intro, we initiate analysis of Rashi’s seemingly lackluster elucidation, which leads us into a journey of profound discovery as we mine the verse to reveal dynamic dimensions of insight. In the end, our return to the primary port of departure resonates with timely and relevant guidance about the singular importance of modesty in our modern age of hyper-promiscuity.
Watch
59:51
Parsha Curiosities: Pinchas
Upon divine confirmation that he wouldn’t enter the Promised Land, Moses forcefully asks G-d to assure him that the Children of Israel not be left like a “flock without a shepherd.” Our Sages highlight the unique introductory sentence, telling us that it’s a one-of-a-kind biblical verse! Rashi elucidates how it expresses the ultimate paradigm of true leadership and the selfless nature of Moses. At this fateful moment, his response was single-minded concern for his people. Yet Rashi comments on the very next verse that Moses said “it’s time to ask for my own needs, that my son should inherit my high position.” How can we reconcile this egregiously glaring inconsistency?
Watch
1:23:11
Moses’ blessings were limited and G-d’s are limitless. Why would Moses bother blessing us?
Watch
1:16:50
Analysis of Rashi’s (seemingly superfluous) elucidation of the verse on Tefillin, quickly leads into broader exploration presenting a profound understanding of this foundational mitzvah. Discover defining differences between the hand and head set; and a fascinating duality of dimensions encoded into it. Revealing eye-opening legal, philosophical and mystical insights, this rumination will forever change the way you view the mitzvah of Tefillin!
Watch
1:05:00
The quest for a full appreciation of a specific comment of Rashi, once again serve as a segue into a much broader understanding of foundational Torah concepts like the meaning of Mitzvot, the Land of Israel and the nature of personal religious duties . We are introduced to a Talmudic statement about the importance of Tefillin that seems vastly exaggerated. Varying explanations are capped with an amazing mystical manuscript that remarkably clarifies the “Head-Tefillin Effect”, transformationally illuminating the spiritual achievement of putting on Tefillin – even if it just once-in-a-lifetime!
Watch
1:08:24
Opening with fascinating messaging and deeper symbolism, this colourful rumination on the heavenly arc, moves on to address fundamental questions, like how a natural phenomenon is construed as paranormal. A vibrant spectrum of diverse opinions and teachings why the rainbow can serve as G-d’s eternal symbol are presented, clarifying how it confirmed G-d’s covenant with humanity and opening a broader prism of understanding about the proverbial flood’s purpose and ultimate impact.
Watch
1:31:25
Abraham’s arrival in the land of Canaan immediately engenders prophetic promises of progeny and future possession of this land. Following his Egyptian detour, resultant wealth and family feuds; we return to the original narrative. The promise is reiterated, yet much changes. Surprisingly, Abraham doesn't seem to obey instructions. Amazing details emerge, offering a dazzling new appreciation for the holy city of Chevron; as a fascinating narrative of the dead who return completes this exquisite presentation.
Watch
1:01:26
The opening narrative of Abraham's hospitality is punctuated with repetitive descriptions of great haste. Rather than incidental, these details emerge as a compelling pattern – but the actual messaging isn't obvious. What exactly is the Torah trying to tell us?! This investigation of our founding father’s famous hospitality ultimately provides incredible insight into the inner workings of Abraham's kindness – ultimately guiding and illuminating our own Jewish ethos of sharing and caring today.
Watch
1:34:05
Erudite elucidation of the Parsha’s opening establishes its primary narrative; leading into cryptic and conflicting traditions about the terrestrial years our Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob spent in unison. Exploring diverse meanings of these cherished teachings leads us into a profound new understanding and appreciation of foundational Torah commentary. The emerging enlightenment ultimately provides incredible insight for the possibility of Jewish unity in these stormy times!
Watch
1:22:07
Parsha Curiosities: Vayeitzei
A tiny fissure in the textual surface alerts us to the deep seismic movement beneath the crust of the Parsha’s opening narrative, as the choice of an unusual word sets off an exploration into kindred yet vastly different paranormal journey's through time and space. Here biblical exegesis and sci-fi quantum physics theories intersect and coalesce – leading us into a profound new understanding of our sacred mission to sublimate reality and transform this world into a holy habitat.
Watch
1:35:39
Following an hours-long nocturnal struggle, as dawn breaks, a strange verbal exchange begins between Jacob and the mysterious creature that viciously attacked and maimed him. Fascinating analysis of the conversation’s contents lead us into a discovery of what was really happening on that dark and fateful night. Ultimately, much is learnt about the power and importance of Jewish names. Multiple meaningful takeaways include the possibility of your Hebrew name coloring your life’s experiences.
Watch
1:21:34
Up to his final terrestrial moment the Patriarch Jacob exhibits paranormal stamina, composure and clarity for a person about to pass, and in fact, a glaring scriptural omission indicates he never actually died! How on earth can that make any sense; especially as this entire portion is uniquely revolves around his death with multiple verses explicitly alluding to his demise? Finally, how was his body buried, and did it decompose? Incredible answers that tell us much about Jacob, Joseph and Tzadikim today!
Watch
1:17:08
A profound presentation on the verses that segue into the very first Mitzvah we receive as a nation—the Sanctification of the Moon. Learning about our unique Jewish calendar, which incorporates a synergy balancing both the seasonal or solar calendar with the lunar or monthly method of keeping time, leads us to an understanding of why we label the months in a particular way. Yet, we seem to have abandoned this, opting instead for foreign nomenclature. Why?! Fascinating facts, incredible insights and sacred sparks are set into orbit to provide an inspiring explanation.
Watch
1:05:53
A penetrating presentation on the ethical practice of medicine, ultimately addressing questions like: if G-d is the ultimate Healer, why are we permitted to heal, and is the practice of medicine a moral obligation? The entire lecture is ultimately based on a fuller and proper understanding of but two words of Scripture, which speak to us in the context of the obligation to indemnify victims of assault and battery. Many profound insights, fascinating historical tidbits and sacred traditions are mixed to provide an authentic Torah perspective on the science of healing.
Watch
1:15:36
After being found everywhere, but dwelling nowhere specific for 2249 years, G-d has informed the Jewish people that he now intends to dwell amongst them. He'd like them to craft a mobile home so that he can move along with them through the Sinai desert. He conveys exact instructions, and even tells them precisely what materials to use –including some “heavy metals” like gold, silver and copper. Tellingly, iron is absent. Why might that be, and if avoiding cheaper utilitarian substances, why not just “go with the gold” – maintaining only highest of standards?!
Watch
1:19:48
Parshat Terumah’s “Mishkan Metals” presented gold, silver and copper standards of dedication; yet utilitarian iron was cast aside. The continued development of this thesis now begins with a missed Midrash that’s richly illuminated. Then on to Babylon; one young prophet is inspired to craft a diorama, while another tasked with interpreting an Emperor's nightmares – both of which foreshadow the balance of world history. Fascinating commentary, resonating with relevancy, is climaxed by latter-day mystical teachings providing extraordinary clarity and a happy ending!
Watch