In honor of Yom Yerushalayim and 50 years of its […]

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Jerusalem Day – Why doesn’t everyone celebrate?
The 28th of Iyar […]

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Sefirat Ha’Omer: In Anticipation or In Preparation?
The period between Passover […]

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Feast with Hashem – Feast with the Poor
 In our Parsha […]

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Why are Yom Ha’Zikaron & Yom Ha’Atzmaut Juxtaposed?
In our weekly […]

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Were Prayers Enacted in Place of the Daily Offerings?
In our […]

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The Dog Seated Beside the Rabbi
“Speak to the children of […]

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“…and they perceived God, and they ate and drank”
At the […]

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Matan Torah – Why Fire?

The Torah describes the fiery nature […]

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The Partnership Between a Leader and His People
Our Parsha relates […]

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“Pesach Egypt” and “Pesach Lot”
 Am Yisrael eats Matzot on Pesach. […]

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Why was the Plague of Blood not enough?
 At first glance, […]

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Who is a Man?
“Now it came to pass in those […]

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Human or Divine Mission
The Parshot focusing on the story of […]

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There is no substitute for parents
Yosef arrives in Egypt. The […]

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True Dreams – Erroneous Interpretations
Yosef’s dreams seem transparently obvious. His […]

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War or Peace? The Role of Tefilla
Our Parsha opens with […]

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“Give me Children”
In this and other “Parshas” two of our […]

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Wells & Dreams
Avraham Avinu dug wells. Yitzchak Avinu dug wells. […]

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Choosing Rivka: Due Diligence
In our Parsha, Eliezer does “due diligence” […]

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Perform Righteousness and Justice
Up until this point, the Torah has […]

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Why doesn’t the Torah explain why Avraham was chosen?
“And the […]

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YOM KIPPUR: THE SPIRIT OF TESHUVA
The goal of Yom Kippur […]

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In this week’s Parasha, we learn about the commandment of […]

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Why is Interest Prohibited?
In this week’s portion, Ki Tetzeh, the […]

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This Shabbat we read the words of Moshe to Am […]

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“These are the stages of the children of Israel, by […]

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We are accustomed to the practice of the laws of […]

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How can our children’s summer vacation be made a time […]

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Our Sages tell us in the Talmud (Shabbat 88.) that […]

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Why did the nascent State of Israel not conquer Jerusalem […]

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The period between Passover and Shavuot is a unique time, […]

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TORAH FOR THE GENERATIONS

Why do we rejoice on Lag Ba’Omer? […]

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Counting the Omer
“And you shall count” – The process of […]

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1. Motzei Shabbat HaGadol – According to the Mishna Berura, we […]

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On the Seder night, there is a special Mitzvah to […]

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The Blessing of the Trees
The Gemara in Berachot (43:) states […]

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What is the rationale behind Parah Adumah (Red Heifer)?
 

 Many years […]

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What is the reason for the commandment of Mishloach Manot […]

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 Remembering Amalek – When?
How often are we commanded to remember […]

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“When Adar begins, we should heighten our joy.”
 The Gemara in […]

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Shabbat and the Tabernacle
The Torah links Shabbat with the Tabernacle. […]

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Spreading Sanctity in the World
Our parasha deals almost entirely with […]

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Does Adar l Impact on Adar ll?
The Gemara in Ta’anit […]

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And they beheld G-d and they ate and drank
The end […]

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Justice & Morality: Human or Divine?
Exodus 18, 13-16

13 And it […]

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The Splitting of the Sea and the Horse that was […]

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Kahal Yisrael: The Passover Sacrifice
Am Yisrael is commanded to offer […]

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Why was the blood plague not sufficient?

In this week’s Parasha, […]

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She Saw That He Was Good
In regards to Moses the […]

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Joseph’s Greatness
Finally the family is united. Jacob and his sons […]

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There is no replacement for parents
Joseph arrives in Egypt. Potiphar’s […]

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 In the aftermath of the Yom Kippur war – Chanukah […]

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How should we relate to the events befalling us every […]

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What is so wonderous about lifting the stone?
The beginning of […]

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The Meeting
Why do we pray? Our Rabbis gave many reasons, […]

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A candle burning from Shabbat to Shabbat
Towards the end of […]

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To do charity and justice
Until now Scripture does not explicitly […]

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Why was Abraham chosen?

G-d said to Abram, “Go for yourself […]

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Our Parsha speaks about the rainbow that G-d set as […]

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Evil, beastly perpetrators killed pure and innocent people.  The goal […]

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To Pray with Transgressors

The Kol Nidrei service opens with the […]

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The Commandment of Hakel

On the holiday of Sukkot, once every […]

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Repentance – an easy or difficult commandment?

The Torah in Parshat […]

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The Good and the Bad: All Part of a Plan
In […]

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Why is there a prohibition on interest?

In our parsha, Parshat […]

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    Who is the landlord? The prohibition of not […]

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Why should we give monetary tithes?

In our Parsha we read […]

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Rain, the Land of Israel, and a Bride and Groom
The […]

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I implored G-d – Prayers in vain?!

In our Parsha, Moses […]

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The final meal before the fast:

            The Braita (Taanit 29b, […]

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How can one annul a vow?

Parshat Matot opens with the […]

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A Covenant of Peace

In the beginning of our Parsha G-d […]

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Why don’t we always appreciate G-d’s kindness?

Moses struck a […]

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 The Mitzva of Settling the Land of Israel (Yishuv HaAretz), […]

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Why Was Miriam Punished?

Miriam slanders Moses and is punished with […]

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Parshat Naso

Asking after someone’s welfare

In the Parsha we read the […]

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Are we ready‪?

A message for Shavuot

Golan Heights‪.  The famous Golan […]

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What is So Special About Lag B’omer?

Lag B’omer is one […]

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How do we define the leading rabbi of the generation?

I […]

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Independence Day: Postponed or Brought Forward

A strange sensation: The 5th […]

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Between Holocaust Memorial Day and Independence Day

We find ourselves between […]

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How Is This Night Different

Why should we ask questions?

The Gemara […]

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What is the main theme of the Book of Leviticus?

The […]

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Vayakhel Pekudei

Who built the Tabernacle?

The Torah explicitly states (Exodus 35: […]

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The Many Faces of Purim

 Purim has many faces. It is […]

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The War with Amalek – From Joshua to Mordechai

When Moses […]

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The Gems of Our Efforts

In the weekly Parsha we read […]

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“Yitro heard”. Our Sages are not satisfied with the continuation […]

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Parshat Beshalach

The splitting of the sea and the horse that […]

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Why 10 plagues and not just one?

Seemingly, Moses could have […]

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The Inner Strength of Missions —

from Moses to Each […]

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It happened in those days that Moses grew up and […]

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In the parsha about Joseph – the root Sh. L. […]

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These candles are holy

During Chanukah Menorah lighting we say:

We kindle […]

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Correct dreams – incorrect interpretations

On the one hand, we have […]

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Parshat Vayishlach – a Mountain, a Field and a House

The […]

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The Meeting by the Well – Who Performs Kindness?

In our […]

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Dear Residents of Israel,

 

This is a very difficult period for […]

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Who does cheesed in the Parsha? We will try to […]

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The Meaning of a Test

Our forefather Abraham heard G-d say […]

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We asked someone: Why do you dance so much! Well, […]

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What is the significance of the fast?

In the simple meaning […]

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The Portion of Repentance –

Sudden and Gradual Repentance

 

In Parshat Nitzavim […]

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The Portion of Repentance –

Sudden and Gradual Repentance

 

In Parshat Nitzavim […]

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Tithes Confession – Confession for good things?!

In our portion we […]

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בס”ד

Comfort ye, comfort ye my people

There is a very well […]

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How Can I Bear This Alone

The book of “Eicha” (Lamentations) […]

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Gush Katif, Residents of the South
and Golani Soldiers
by Rav Yosef […]

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The Children of Israel’s Journeys in the Desert and Operation […]

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Brit Shalom
At the beginning of Parshat Pinchas, G-d promises to […]

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The Three Young Boys Who Awakened Us

The heartbreaking story of […]

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What caused the sin of the spies?
In this week’s parasha, […]

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Was the Torah coerced upon the people or not‪?‬

The Talmud […]

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One who sees a suspected woman in her disgrace

This week’s […]

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The number of the Israelites

 

In the beginning of the parasha […]

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Shmita time
The parasha of “Bahar” begins with the commandment of […]

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Sefirat Ha’Omer: In Anticipation or In Preparation?

 

The period between Passover and Shavuot is a unique time, indeed one that can be considered to be a holiday. The

Rambam, in commenting on the parasha (Leviticus, 23:21), refers to these days as “Intermediate festive days” – ” and

they were commanded to celebrate the festival of the Lord for a seven day period, and within this period they were

commanded to be holy, as the Lord among them is holy, and from then on 49 days are counted, seven weeks as the

seven days of the world’s creation, and the eighth day was sanctified as the eighth day of the holiday. And, the days

that are to be counted are intermediate festive days, being between the first and eighth of the holiday. This eighth day is

the celebration of receiving the Torah, upon which the Lord revealed himself within the fire and his words were heard

from the fire”

Sfirat Ha’omer (the counting of the Omer) connects the holidays of Passover and Shavuot, thereby connecting the

physical aspect of the exodus from Egypt and the spiritual aspect of receiving the Torah. The Rambam (Mor’e

Nevochim, 3:43) speaks of the anticipation that builds up towards accepting the Torah, when one counts the days of the

Omer. Rabbi Yosef “b’chor shor” further explains in depth using an allegory,  whereby a slave is imprisoned and is

promised by the king that he will be freed from prison within fifty days, and also receive the king’s home. The slave did

not believe the king. Only upon being freed did the slave begin to count the fifty days, because only after he saw that

the king fulfilled the first promise of freeing him from prison, could he believe that the second promise of granting the

slave his home, would too be fulfilled. Similarly to this is the idea of Sefirat Hao’mer . Am Yisrael did not believe they

would ever leave Egypt. Upon the exodus, they told themselves­ if the first promise of leaving Egypt was fulfilled, then

we shall surely receive the Torah, the fulfillment of the second promise, and so they began counting.

The Zohar in our Parasha (Parasha Emor, 167) presents a different approach. The Zohar says that one who does not

count the Omer days is impure and therefore is not entitled to be a part of the Torah. And, one who approaches

Shavuot and is pure, always keeping track of the days counted, when the last night arrives, he must learn Torah and

connect to it and preserve the pureness that is bestowed upon him, and thus he will be purified. The Zohar uses the

word “tahor” (pure). The novel interpretation the Zohar presents is that the counting of the Omer is not only in

anticipation, but rather a lengthly preparation towards receiving the Torah. Similar to this is the woman who counts the

days to purity following menstruation.

A man prepares himself for his wedding, prepares for a family occasion. When a person does something of

significance, he prepares himself for it. The preparation has two purposes: one is  to know what has to be done on the

occasion (technical preparations for a wedding) and two is to prepare one’sself mentally, spiritually. To elevate

ourselves, from a regular day­to­day manner of being to a more elevated, unique way of being.

Such a preparation can be seen in several instances throughout the Torah. Am Yisrael prepared themselves in the

same way before the Lord revealed himself to them on Sinai (Exodus 19: 10­11): “And the Lord said to Moses ‘go to the

people and prepare them today and tomorrow, and they shall wash their garments: And they shall be prepared for the

third day, for on the third day, the Lord will descend before the eyes of all the people upon Mount Sinai”.  Similarly so,

the high priest prepares himself for the prayers and work on Yom Kippur (Masechet Yoma 1:1) and so we too prepare

ourselves for the fiftieth day, The holiday of Shavuot, of the receiving  of the Torah.

We hereby learn that the days of Sefirat Hao’mer connect Passover to Shavuot, connect the materialistic exodus to the

spiritual elevation. This connection of time enables us to approach Shavuot with purity and wholeness. There is

anticipation of the event and there is also a special preparation for receiving the Torah.

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The Meaning of Recitation of the

Story of the Parting […]

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Why is this night different?

Part 1

Why do we ask questions?

It […]

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The month of Nissan is approaching, and on Shabbat we […]

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Parashat Zachor 
Why is it that Rachel’s descendants do battle against […]

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Parashat Va’Yikra

Matzah in the Temple? Why?

In this week’s chapter (2; […]

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Parshat P’kudei
A Repetition of the Tabernacle

 

Once my teacher, Harav Lichtenstein, […]

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Shabbat and the Tabernacle
The Torah connects Shabbat and the Tabernacle.

The […]

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Parashat Tezaveh
Spreading Sanctity Throughout the World
    Our parasha deals almost entirely […]

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“When Adar Arrives We Heighten Our Rejoicing” – Is this […]

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And they beheld G-d and they ate and drank
The end […]

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Parashat Yitro
Do Not Covet – A Lesson for a Content […]

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“And they believed in G-d and in His servant Moshe.” […]

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Parashat Bo –
The Congregation of the Jewish People and the […]

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Why didn’t Yaakov weep?
At long last, after 22 years, Yaakov […]

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בס”ד

Out of the depths
I have cried to you Hashem

Yosef is […]

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?And Yaakov was afraid – why

When Yaakov hears that Esav […]

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Give Me Children
Two women, one from this week’s parsha and […]

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The Meaning of the Blessings of Yitzchak
I would like to […]

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Towards the end of the parsha, Yizhak brings Rivka to […]

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Charity and Justice
by Rav Yosef Zvi Rimon
Until now, the Torah […]

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