Friday, May 26, 2017

Bamidbar - Counting the Uncountable

How does counting the Jewish people express Hashem’s love for us? How can we be counted if we are ‘uncountable?’ Why are there different analogies for this uncountability - stars, sand, dust? Who refers to us in each of these ways? How are we both in this world and above it? How does the reality of the Jewish people parallel the Oneness of Hashem? What are the different types of being uncountable?

Find out in this week's parsha podcast.

Running time: 29:06

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Trump & Yesod ShebeYesod

We all know who's coming to Israel tomorrow. To Jerusalem no less.

I saw someone message my wife earlier today that she was going to Kever Yosef tonight and it hit me that tonight is yesod she'beyesod. Which is Yosef's day.

For those who are not familiar, yesod is the aspect of Yosef Hatzadik - the tzadik yesod olam. Yesod of Yesod is the concentration of that power (just as Lag b'omer is the concentration of the power of Hod - Hod of Hod). The power of the Tzadik is in controlling his passions - hence Yosef's overcoming the temptation of Potifar's wife. His control over his passions gives him dominion over the world - Egypt of that time; and, of course, the Jewish people.

How ironic that the president of the US, who is arguably a perfect example of the opposite of this mastery (by his own admission - see his books) - would come to Israel on that very day of Yosef's power! And of all places, come to Jerusalem, which is the Yesod of the world!

The Yesod is the point that connects the male and female aspects, and in a cosmic sense, Jerusalem is the point that connects the Heavenly spheres (male) to the Earthly spheres (female).

I can not say that I fathom the significance of this, but it is surely remarkable and noteworthy.

Let us all continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Behar-Bechukosai - God's Guarantee

Why does Hashem give such bounty - enough for three years - in the sixth year instead of just providing our needs as they come in the 7th and 8th? What is the concept of Bitachon-trust? How does one truly trust in God that one's needs will be provided for? Why did Adam's fall mean that he would no longer eat from fruit, but rather from the produce of the ground? What is the difference between fruits and plants? Why does the mitzvah of Shmitah-7th year apply only in Israel?

Find out in this week's parsha podcast.

Running time: 21:05

Friday, May 12, 2017

Emor - Of Kings and Kohanim

What are the five aspects that make a Kohen Gadol-High Priest 'greater' than his brothers? What is the idea behind the concept that if he is not rich himself, his brothers 'make him rich?' How does a king parallel the Kohen in these five aspects? Why does a king, as represented by King David, receive special strength to fight Israel's enemies? What is the depth of the idea that David 'fit into the clothes of King Saul?' What is the intent of the Torah when it repeats the words relating to speach?

Find out in this week's parsha podcast.

Running time: 25:23

Friday, May 5, 2017

Acharei Mos-Kedoshim - Material and Form

Why are the instructions about immoral relationships included in the reading of the High Priest's service on Yom Kippur? What is the significance of the Exodus and Hashem's oath to redeem the Jewish people in this context? Why are the Egyptian people referred to as 'donkeys' and why are they the example of immoral relationships? What is the depth of the idea that Hashem adds his name to the name of someone who is courageous in this area? What is the idea of the oath taken by certain individuals in the face of challenges in this area?

Find out in this week's parsha podcast.

Running time: 26:30