Friday, July 22, 2016

Balak - Final Refinement

Why does Hashem lead the Jewish people to a place where they will sin? What is the significance of the waters of Shittim that the Jews drank of, which was also the spring that the people of Sodom drank from? Why does the midrash seem to make a clear connection to Abraham, sodom and the story of Lot and his daughters? Why does the midrash stress the fact that the Jewish people were at the threshold of Israel, like a princess about to marry?

Find out in this week's parsha podcast.

Running time: 28:48

Friday, July 15, 2016

Chukas - Pure From Impure

Why is the Red Heifer specifically red? Why must it be completely burnt? How is it that the one involved in preparing it becomes impure, and yet it causes those who use it to become pure? What is the depth behind the midrash's statement that numerous great people were the progeny of individuals who were wicked? What is the idea behind a chok - statute law? Why is there this type of law that we can not understand? Why is the methodology of our sages one of questioning? How is the word chok - law - related to chakak - sculpting or engraving?

Find out in this week's parsha podcast.

Running time: 22:41

Friday, July 8, 2016

Korach - You Can Have It All

Why does Korach indicate that he is looking for social equality, if he really wants to take over as high priest? Why does the midrash indicate that he wanted to be the prince of the family of Kehos, if Moshe seems to indicate he was after the high priesthood? Why does Moshe tell the Levites that they already 'have much' - isn't it good to want a lot when it comes to spiritual matters? What do our sages mean when they say that in the spiritual realm 'a full vessel is one that holds, and an empty vessel can not hold?' Why does Esav say 'I have a lot,' while Yaakov says, 'I have it all?'

Find out in this week's parsha podcast.

Running time: 22:29

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Shlach - Seeing Through the Lie

Why does Hashem respond so harshly to the Jewish people's lack of faith when they cry with the spies' report? Why were the Jewish people so afraid to enter Israel if they had just seen, and continued to see, the many miracles Hashem performed on their behalf? Why did they not believe they would continue to experience miracles? What is the parallel between this event and the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden? What is the difference between the spies that Moshe sent and the spies that Yehoshua sent 40 years later? What can one do, if one finds oneself in a place of distance from Hashem, in order to return to that relationship?

Find out in this week's parsha podcast.

Running time: 24:26

Friday, June 3, 2016

Bechukosai - Finding the Balancw

Which was created first - the Heavens or the Earth? How can we really talk about 'first' if it was before there was time? Who was greater - Moses or Aaron? Why does the verse reverse the order of the patriarchs, speaking of the covenant with Jacob, Isaac and Abraham? Why is this verse surrounded on both sides by the curses that can befall those who do not maintain their relationship with Hashem? What is greater - honoring one's mother or one's father?

Find out in this week's parsha podcast.

Running time: 21:58

Friday, May 27, 2016

Behar - Sharing the Wealth

What is the Torah's approach to charity and 'spreading the wealth?' Why does the midrash place the idea of spiritual wealth beside the concept of material wealth? What are the mechanics of the spiritual principle behind the fact that when I share what I have - both in wisdom and in material matters - I get more myself? How does one deal with the automatic feelings of constriction when approached by a poor person? What does it mean that 'the words of the poor of the land of Israel are spiritual teachings?'

Find out in this week's parsha podcast.

Running time: 25:00

Friday, May 20, 2016

Emor - When the Righteous Err

What is the connection between those who seek the advice of soothsayers and the Kohanim of our parsha? Why was King Saul referred to as a righteous individual despite his many mistakes? Why did Hashem seem to go along with Saul's desire to speak to Samuel (who had already died) if he did it in a way which was against the Torah? Why did King Saul go out to battle with his sons by his side if he knew it was to be his final battle, and both he and his sons would die?

Find out in this week's parsha podcast.

Running time: 29:56

Friday, May 13, 2016

Kedoshim - Tzion, Yosef and Kedusha

What is the concept of Kedusha-holiness? Are we to separate ourselves completely from this world? Why does the verse seem to say that we are to be holy because Hashem is holy? Why is the concept of kedusha connected to Tzion, which is Jerusalem and the Temple? Why do the blessings of redemption come from Tzion and Kedusha? How does all of this connect to Yosef and the power he received from Pharaoh?

Find out in this week's parsha podcast.

Running time: 26:46

Friday, May 6, 2016

Acharei Mos - Biding the Time

Why is the concept of the Avodah-service of the High Priest on Yom Kippur sandwiched between the death of Nadav and Avihu and the forbidden relationships? What does the midrash mean when it says Nadav and Avihu wanted the 'old guys' to move on so they could take over? What is the concept of 'sustaining the eyes' by viewing a spiritual experience in the wrong time? Why does the midrash use a similar language in talking about what is lost by looking at things forbidden? Why is it that the result of not 'sustaining the eyes' inappropriately is that one receives a revelation of the Divine presence?

Find out in this week's parsha podcast.
Running time: 20:43

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Pesach 2 - Rewards of Challenge

Why do the Jewish people experience an awesome revelation in such a dangerous place - in the Sea of Reeds? Why is this the climax of the Exodus? Why does Israel's angel - Michael - step aside in the face of the challenge of Egypt's angel (uza)? What is the significance of Hashem Himself responding on Israel's behalf? How do we know that Hashem's promise to stand up for the people of Israel still exists in our time? How do we know that all challenges result in spiritual reward - even those of seemingly lesser significance?

Find out in this week's parsha podcast.

Running time: 24:22