You Shall be Only Above

You Shall be Only Above

The Torah section of Nitzavim is dedicated to Moses’ exhortation to the children of Israel to adhere to G-d’s Word as set forth in the Torah.  He relates all the good that shall come their way “When you listen to the Voice of the L-rd, your G-d, to observe His commandments and His decrees that…

Get the Message

Get the Message

In the Torah section of Ki Tavo, we read the verse (Devarim 28:2), “And all these blessings will come upon you and they will reach you.”  Later on (Devarim 28:15), we also find with regard to the curses: “And all these curses will come upon you and they will reach you.”  Commentators have, over the…

Fair is Fair

Fair is Fair

In the Torah section of Ki Tetze, the Torah unequivocally declares (Devarim 23:21), “You may charge interest to the gentile, but to your brother you shall not charge interest.”  Similarly, towards the end of the Torah section of Behar, we read (Vayikra 25:36), “You shall not take from him interest; and you shall fear your…

Obligation to Relate

Obligation to Relate

In the Torah section of Shoftim, we read (Devarim 17:18), “And when he [the king] sits on his throne, he shall write two copies of this Torah for himself.”  Whereas every Jew is commanded to write a sefer torah (torah scroll), a Jewish king is commanded to write two – one to keep at home and one…

Stork is not Kosher

Stork is not Kosher

In the Torah section of Re’eh, Moses repeats the various animals and creatures that G-d deems unfit for consumption, known colloquially as not being kosher, which were originally prohibited in the Torah section of Shmini.  Amongst these is enumerated the chasidah [the stork] (Devarim 14:18; Vayikra 11:19).  With regards to this bird, Rashi notes in Shmini, “Why…

Song to G-d

Song to G-d

In the beginning of the Torah section of Eikev, Moses reminds us of “The great tests that your eyes saw, and the signs, the wonders, the strong hand, and the outstretched arm with which the L-rd, your G-d, took you out [of Egypt]” (Devarim 7:19).  Indeed, after one of the most famous of these miracles,…

Marriage Made in Heaven

Marriage Made in Heaven

Introducing his repetition of the Ten Commandments in the Torah section of VaEtchanan, Moses tells us, “Face to face did G-d speak with you on the mountain,” (Devarim 5:4), a verse that might remind us of the first verse of the Torah section of Bamidbar, “And G-d spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai.” Commenting…

Proper Proportions

Proper Proportions

The Torah section of Matot encompasses three sub-sections: G-d’s precepts and regulations concerning vows (Bamidbar 30:2-17), G-d’s instructing the children of Israel to avenge themselves against the Midianites (Bamidbar 31:1-54) and the special agreement reached with the tribes of Reuven and Gad in light of their “abundant livestock” (Bamidbar 32:1-42). In the course of discussing…

Like a Fig Tree

Like a Fig Tree

In the Torah section of Pinchas, G-d chooses Joshua, Moses’ devoted student who “would not depart from within the tent” (Sh’mot 33:11), always at Moses’ side, thirstily imbibing every word of his and waiting patiently for forty days at the foot of Mount Sinai until his teacher returned from accepting the Torah, to succeed Moses…