Category: Tanach

  • Chukkat: We Cannot But Be in Process

    Chukkat: We Cannot But Be in Process

    My thoughts for Chukkat 5781 for Yeshivat Maharat’s Divrei Torah: Parashat Chukat includes one of the Torah’s great mysteries: Moshe Rabbenu is told he willnot live to lead Bnei Yisrael across the Yarden and into Eretz Yisrael on account of histransgression at the (second) striking of the rock. But what was Moshe’s transgressionexactly? What could […]

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  • Chukat: Rabbi Zushya on Moshe’s Transgression

    Chukat: Rabbi Zushya on Moshe’s Transgression

    Originally published in a local newsletter, 5779. To Rabbi Zushya, an early Hasidic master who left behind no writings but many stories, belong two of the most darkly encouraging statements about human purpose: to him is attributed the saying, “Each person should have a coat with two pockets—one pocket with a note on which it’s […]

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  • Bechukotai: Wagering on the Meaning of Meaning

    Bechukotai: Wagering on the Meaning of Meaning

    Parashat Bechukkotai is known for its aspect of tokhechah, admonition. This parashah details the consequences of pursuing God’s laws (chukkot) and commandments (mitzvot), including the positive but dwelling upon the negative, in terms of sheer number and detail. The parashah begins, “If you walk in my laws (im bechukkotai telekhu) and keep my commandments (et […]

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