Young woman talking

The Meshivat Nefesh Project

What is the Meshivat Nefesh project? The Meshivat Nefesh project aims to provide women and girls with an attentive female ear and responder to tailor a response to their questions, a response they couldn’t always get in other ways. What prompted this idea? Women and girls of various ages feel the need to take counsel […]

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Tzaraat

Parshat Metzorah: Three Approaches to Nigei Batim

According to one opinion (Sanhedrin 71a), there never was a bayit hamenuga; the Torah wants us to expound upon this theoretical subject and receive a reward. These esoteric laws apparently include ideas that instruct and inspire irrespective of practical application. Indeed, darshanim have found much sermonic material in the biblical account of a blemished house. […]

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Red Heifer

Parshat Parah: Sometimes There Are No Answers

This week, in addition to reading the regular parsha, we will also read “Parshat Parah”, which lists the laws pertaining to the Red Heifer generally considered one of the most obtuse segments in the entire Torah. It is considered the quintessential “chok’, or law not given over to human comprehension, since it contains internal contradictions: […]

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Protected area written on a field sign

Parashat Tzav: The Mishkan and Incest

Parashat Tzav describes the path of anointing Aharon and his sons for their priestly duties in the Mishkan. Aharon and his sons are commanded to keep vigil at the entrance of the Mishkan for seven days: “ּפֶתַח אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד תֵּשְׁבוּ יוֹמָם וָלַיְלָה, שִׁבְעַת יָמִים, וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם אֶת-מִשְׁמֶרֶת יְהוָה, וְלֹא תָמוּתוּ: כִּי-כֵן, צֻוֵּיתִי.” Literally, the Kohanim are […]

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Handcuffed Woman

Ta’anit Esther: International Agunah Day 5776

A centuries-old problem is taking on vicious forms as our society itself changes. Put that together with the concept of “consciousness-raising” as a trend implemented in generally unknown matters. Hence the development of International Agunah Day. This week, on Ta’anit Esther (March 23, 2016) we mark International Agunah Day as we do yearly. There is […]

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Tabernacle

Parshat Pekudei: Bronze, Silver, and Gold

Four thousand pounds of gold, fifteen thousand pounds of silver, ten thousand pounds of bronze — the opening passage of Parashat Pekudei, dazzles us with the tremendous material resources that were invested in the construction of the tabernacle. Clearly the grandeur of this edifice is intended to make a deep impression upon us. A careful […]

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half full or empty glass

Parshat Vayakhel: Half Empty

We all know that one can look at the glass of life as half empty or half full. It all depends on your perspective. One of the keys to living a fulfilled life is to be able to count our blessings, to live with gratitude and appreciation for what we have. We want to see […]

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Man in Desert

Parshat Ki Tisa: Leadership and Followership

The incident of the Golden Calf represents the most significant potential rupture in the new relationship between God and Benei Yisrael. God threatens to destroy the nation, n toto, and begin again with Moshe. The threat is a credible one – on a universal level, that is essentially what God did when Mankind failed Him, […]

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Ark of the Covenant

Parshat Tetzaveh: The Secret of the Mishkan

The Secret of the Mishkan – Revelation, Law and Holiness Parshat Tetzaveh continues the previous Parsha of Teruma in its didactic description of the Mishkan. While Teruma discusses the building and its vessels, Tetzaveh discusses the clothing of the kohanim and the consecration ceremony. However, a number of topics seem out of place. Tetzaveh begins […]

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Israel Flag on Flagpole

Parshat Trumah: True Blue

In the beginning of Parshat Trumah, Shmot Chapter 25, God tells Moshe: “Speak to B’nei Yisrael and have them take for me a trumah (donation) offering: gold, silver and copper, techelet, argaman (purple), tolaat (crimson), fine linen and goats hair, red-dyed ram’s skins, tachish skins and acacia wood, oil for the lamp, spices for anointing […]

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Flying Eagle

Parshat Haazinu: On The Wings of Eagles

There is much to learn from the poetic imagery in Parshat Ha’azinu. The image that particularly stands out is that of the nesher, eagle. The eagle which is one of the toughest of birds shows its more gentle side while parenting its young. In Dvarim 32:11 it says: “Like an eagle who rouses his nest, […]

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Survey

Thoughts on Viduy (confession)

The Book of Jonah is a book that hovers between fantasy and reality. Even if the string of events described within it are possible, it is still unrealistic to believe that the main message of the book is the actual storyline and the incidents it describes. A story about a fish that swallows a man […]

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Eye looking through hole

Parshat Nitzavim: Secrets Are For God

This week’s Parsha marks the culmination of the covenant between Hashem and Bnei Yisrael, before they enter the land of Israel. The covenant focuses on the communal responsibility to prevent idol worship, and ends with the following pasuk: הנסתרת לה’ א-להינו והנגלת לנו ולבנינו עד עולם לעשות את כל דברי התורה הזאת Secrets are for […]

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