Category Archives: Parshat Hashavua

To Stop this Plague, Avoid Social Distancing

I recently had the fortune of finishing two areas of learning right around the same time with my 8th graders – Parshat Korach and the book of Shmuel Bet. Much to our surprise, we discovered that the two sections, separated … Continue reading

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A Fool for Love: The Meeting of Chesed and Emet

I just finished my first year of teaching in a new location, and I finally have the time to write up the conclusions of a learning experience I had with my 7th Grade Advanced Chumash class a few months ago. … Continue reading

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Jewish Unity and Parshat Shemot

As the young nation unified by its harmony at the end of Sefer Bereishit turns to one enslaved in Sefer Shemot, we are informed that it is in the same spirit of unity that the Jews descend to Egypt: וְאֵלֶּה … Continue reading

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Love Interrupted: When Ya’akov Finally Fell for Leah (Vayishlach)

Parshat Vayishlach opens with Ya’akov’s multi-pronged preparation for meeting his estranged brother Eisav. Famously, he sends gifts to his brother, prepares for war, and prays. When it comes time to meet Eisav, we find this final bit of preparation: ספר … Continue reading

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19th Century Torah Commentaries Series

This past summer I had the privilege of sharing a five-week series on the rebirth of Torah commentary in the 19th Century, exploring the historical context, personal biographies, and literary styles of four giants of 19th Century Jewish life – … Continue reading

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The Origins of Slavery (On the Siyum of My Son on Bereishit)

My eight-year-old son and I just completed the Book of Bereishit, a study we began when he was just four years old. In honor of the occasion, I wanted to share some thoughts which I have been developing over the … Continue reading

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The Disappearance and Reappearance of Pesach in Tanach

I was privileged to give a shiur in my shul the last afternoon of Pesach on “The Appearance and Disappearance of Pesach in Tanach,” focusing on whether Pesach was celebrated in the midbar and on the disappearance and reappearance of … Continue reading

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Parshat Mattot: Mi Ya’aleh B’Har Hashem – Hearing the Echo of Diaspora’s Call

By a fluke of the calendar and my travel schedule, I got to hear Parshat Mattot twice – first in Israel, then in America. Parshat Mattot is a difficult one for those who have made Aliyah and like to stick … Continue reading

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Still Rock and Roll to Me: Reflections on New Wave Tanach

A few weeks ago, to my surprise, I was invited to share a 15-minute D’var Torah in the coveted Thursday night pre-Maariv slot at my local right-of-center community Beis Medrash. In the days leading up to my D’var Torah, I … Continue reading

Posted in Communal Matters, Jewish Education (meta), Nach, Parshat Hashavua, Talmud / Daf Yomi | 3 Comments

The Fall and Rise of Levi, Once and Future Priest

We discussed in a recent post (link) the motif throughout Bereishit of bechira over bechora – that in almost every instance, the firstborn is passed over in deference to a favored younger sibling. As Leah’s oldest two children, Reuven and Shimon should rightfully have received the priesthood and … Continue reading

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