Friday, August 12, 2016

Devarim-Tisha B'av - Unifying Duality

Why is the lesson of Devarim before Tisha B'av? How did Moshe become able to speak so eloquently when he originally categorized himself as 'heavy of tongue?' What does it mean that the Torah 'cures the tongue?' What is the significance of the teaching that a sefer Torah can be written in any language, or at least in Greek? What is the idea of the description of the tablets as being written 'on both sides?' Why is 'both sides' also the description of the fruit trees that grow from the river that flows from the Holy Temple of the future?

Find out in this week's parsha podcast.

Running time: 26:50

Friday, August 5, 2016

Matos-Masei - Stops on the Journey

Why does Hashem instruct Moshe to 'reminisce' about the many stops along the journey through the wilderness, especially in light of the Midrash's statement that all these places were spots where the Jewish people angered Hashem? Why does the midrash state that in the future the wilderness will become inhabited and the habitation will become wilderness? Why will the days we mourn the destruction of the Temple become days of rejoicing? What do we learn from the cow of Elijah?

Find out in this week's parsha podcast.

Running time: 27:16

Friday, July 29, 2016

Pinchas - Spiritual Intuition

Why do we need so many different voices pointing out which piece of the land of Israel is given to which tribe? What does it mean that the lottery ticket itself spoke? What is the message of the midrash in saying that the women of Israel were able to close the spiritual gap created by the men? When the daughters of Tzelafchad asked for their inheritance, why did each judge defer to a higher judge until Moshe deferred to Hashem Himself? How is the mantle of leadership passed from Moshe to Yehoshua and what does this teach us about spiritual inheritance?

Find out in this week's parsha podcast.

Running time: 27:46

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