Today – Shabbat Kodesh Parshat Nitzavim

We will read this week Parshat Nitzavim. This Parsha is always being read at the last Shabbat of the year.  I have noticed an unusual repetition of one particular word, in both - last week's Parsha, (Ki Tavo) and this week's - Nitzavim. The word "Today”. It appears in different contexts more than in any Parshiot in …

I did not forget… Shabbat Kodesh Parshat Ki Tavó

We will read this week about the person visiting the Beit Hamikdash. Having finished his "Maaser"(special Tzedakah apportioned from his crop) obligations: וְאָמַרְתָּ֡ לִפְנֵי֩ יְהֹוָ֨ה אֱלֹהֶ֜יךָ בִּעַ֧רְתִּי הַקֹּ֣דֶשׁ מִן־הַבַּ֗יִת וְגַ֨ם נְתַתִּ֤יו לַלֵּוִי֙ וְלַגֵּר֙ לַיָּת֣וֹם וְלָאַלְמָנָ֔ה כְּכׇל־מִצְוָתְךָ֖ אֲשֶׁ֣ר צִוִּיתָ֑נִי לֹֽא־עָבַ֥רְתִּי מִמִּצְוֺתֶ֖יךָ וְלֹ֥א שָׁכָֽחְתִּי׃  “You shall declare before your G‘d: “I have cleared out the consecrated portion from the house; and I …

Once free, always free – Shabbat Kodesh Parshat Ki Tetzé

We will read this week: לֹא־תַסְגִּ֥יר עֶ֖בֶד אֶל־אֲדֹנָ֑יו אֲשֶׁר־יִנָּצֵ֥ל אֵלֶ֖יךָ מֵעִ֥ם אֲדֹנָֽיו׃  You shall not turn over to the master a slave who seeks refuge with you from that master.  עִמְּךָ֞ יֵשֵׁ֣ב בְּקִרְבְּךָ֗ בַּמָּק֧וֹם אֲשֶׁר־יִבְחַ֛ר בְּאַחַ֥ד שְׁעָרֶ֖יךָ בַּטּ֣וֹב ל֑וֹ לֹ֖א תּוֹנֶֽנּוּ׃ Such individuals shall live with you in any place they may choose among the settlements …

Service Exemption – Shabbat Kodesh Parshat Shoftim

We will read this week about who is "exempt" from participating in military operations: (Devarim, 20.5-8): וְדִבְּר֣וּ הַשֹּֽׁטְרִים֮ אֶל־הָעָ֣ם לֵאמֹר֒ מִֽי־הָאִ֞ישׁ אֲשֶׁ֨ר בָּנָ֤ה בַֽיִת־חָדָשׁ֙ וְלֹ֣א חֲנָכ֔וֹ יֵלֵ֖ךְ וְיָשֹׁ֣ב לְבֵית֑וֹ פֶּן־יָמוּת֙ בַּמִּלְחָמָ֔ה וְאִ֥ישׁ אַחֵ֖ר יַחְנְכֶֽנּוּ׃  Then the officials shall address the troops, as follows: “Is there anyone who has built a new house but has not dedicated …

Forty days fasting – Shabbat Kodesh Parshat Ekev

We will read in this Parsha a Pasuk in which Moshe Rabeinu relates to the (2nd) forty days he spent in a lofty heavenly environment. He says:  ו ָֽאֶתְנַפַּל֩ לִפְנֵ֨י יְהֹוָ֜ה כָּרִאשֹׁנָ֗ה אַרְבָּעִ֥ים יוֹם֙ וְאַרְבָּעִ֣ים לַ֔יְלָה לֶ֚חֶם לֹ֣א אָכַ֔לְתִּי וּמַ֖יִם לֹ֣א שָׁתִ֑יתִי עַ֤ל כׇּל־חַטַּאתְכֶם֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר חֲטָאתֶ֔ם לַעֲשׂ֥וֹת הָרַ֛ע בְּעֵינֵ֥י יְהֹוָ֖ה לְהַכְעִיסֽוֹ׃  “I threw myself down …

Let me see Eretz Yisrael – Shabbat Kodesh Parshat Vaetchanan

This week's Parsha starts famously with the heartfelt plea by Moshe Rabeinu:  וָאֶתְחַנַּ֖ן אֶל־יְהֹוָ֑ה בָּעֵ֥ת הַהִ֖וא לֵאמֹֽר׃ אֲדֹנָ֣י יֱהֹוִ֗ה אַתָּ֤ה הַֽחִלּ֙וֹתָ֙ לְהַרְא֣וֹת אֶֽת־עַבְדְּךָ֔ אֶ֨ת־גׇּדְלְךָ֔ וְאֶת־יָדְךָ֖ הַחֲזָקָ֑ה אֲשֶׁ֤ר מִי־אֵל֙ בַּשָּׁמַ֣יִם וּבָאָ֔רֶץ אֲשֶׁר־יַעֲשֶׂ֥ה כְמַעֲשֶׂ֖יךָ וְכִגְבוּרֹתֶֽךָ׃ אֶעְבְּרָה־נָּ֗א וְאֶרְאֶה֙ אֶת־הָאָ֣רֶץ הַטּוֹבָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֖ר בְּעֵ֣בֶר הַיַּרְדֵּ֑ן הָהָ֥ר הַטּ֛וֹב הַזֶּ֖ה וְהַלְּבָנֹֽן׃ “I pleaded with Hashem  at that time, saying, ‘O lord Hashem, You …

Happy and Sad – Shabbat Chazon / Parshat Devarim

During a recent Shiur about Tisha BeAv, I mentioned the (very Chasidic) idea "To be happy in the sadness of Tisha BeAv ''.  The listeners were not very impressed, and some have asked for further explanation. I said that it took me many years to deeply understand that refraining from (some sorts of) Simcha during the first …

Favours? Not always – Shabbat Kodesh Parshat Matot-Masei

As we read on Shabbos the final stages of the long journey to the Promised Land, an odd incident is developing. The tribes of Reuben and Gad had by now large herds of livestock. Having passed and conquered the land of Jazer and the land of Gilead, they came to like the idea of settling …

A person to lead – Shabbat Kodesh Parshat Pinchas

We will read this week Moshe Rabeinu's request to Hashem: וַיְדַבֵּ֣ר מֹשֶׁ֔ה אֶל־יְהֹוָ֖ה לֵאמֹֽר׃ יִפְקֹ֣ד יְהֹוָ֔ה אֱלֹהֵ֥י הָרוּחֹ֖ת לְכׇל־בָּשָׂ֑ר אִ֖ישׁ עַל־הָעֵדָֽה׃ אֲשֶׁר־יֵצֵ֣א לִפְנֵיהֶ֗ם וַאֲשֶׁ֤ר יָבֹא֙ לִפְנֵיהֶ֔ם וַאֲשֶׁ֥ר יוֹצִיאֵ֖ם וַאֲשֶׁ֣ר יְבִיאֵ֑ם וְלֹ֤א תִהְיֶה֙ עֲדַ֣ת יְהֹוָ֔ה כַּצֹּ֕אן אֲשֶׁ֥ר אֵין־לָהֶ֖ם רֹעֶֽה׃ Moses spoke to the Lord, saying: "Let the Lord, the G’d of spirits of all flesh, appoint …