Archive | Divrei Torah


Al Hanisim For Yom Haatzmaut

Out of truthful and grateful contemplation, and commitment to halachah and our liturgical tradition, Beit Hillel has issued a 70-word long  Al Ha’nisim text that aspires to accurately and faithfully describe the great wonder of Israel’s Day of Independence, of the Jewish people’s revival and its State. Beit Hillel proposes that the public adopt this new Al Hanisim text –  in synagogues and at home. We recommend that it be […]

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Model of the Jerusalem temple

Divine Kingship and Sanctity

The most central theme of our Rosh Hashanah liturgy is divine Kingship. This is reflected in many of the piyyutim recited by many communities, as well as by significant changes in the language of the Amidah prayer: replacing the words ha-el ha-kadosh (the Holy God) of the third benediction with ha-melekh ha-kadosh (the Holy King), […]

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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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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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