Shabbat Message

We is Better Than Me

In this week’s Parsha, we read about the Bikurim, the requirement to bring the first fruits to the Holy Temple. This Mitzvah was to be fulfilled only after the 14 years that it took until the land was completely conquered and everyone was settled in their portion. Even if some tribes had already received their […]

The Jewish nation in the desert had their basic needs looked after. The manna satisfied their hunger, and they were sheltered from the elements. They were removed from responsibility and chose to focus on intellectual pursuits. They were known as a generation of texts and theories, they were removed from true life experiences and real […]

Cherish Your Blessings

The text of the priestly blessing is outlined in this week’s Parsha, and it begins: יְבָֽרֶכְךָ֥ יְהוָֹ֖ה וְיִשְׁמְרֶֽךָ May the Lord Bless You and Guard Over You. Not only do we need G-d’s blessing, but we also acknowledge that we need to be guarded by Divine Providence to ensure the blessing remains good.  It is […]

Only You

The Jewish people were gathered around the mountain, inaugurated as a new nation. Receiving the Ten Commandments and finalizing the exodus from Egypt as a new unified entity. Interestingly, the first commandment “Anochi Hashem Elokecha” addresses each individual in the singular form -“I am your (each individual’s) G-d” and not the plural form (all of […]

Extreme Effort = Good

This week’s Parsha begins with the words: “If you follow My statutes”.  Rashi clarifies that “following” here doesn’t mean to just follow (as in observe) – because in the same sentence the Torah also says, “and observe My commandments,” so the fulfillment of the commandments is already stated. So what is the meaning of “If […]

Like the one you love

The Jewish people are like one large family – we may love each other, but it is not always so harmonious. We need to work on liking each other too. It can be easier to like someone that you do not really care about, but when you love someone, that closeness and caring makes it […]

How to be Holy

Kedoshim T’Hiyu: You shall be holy (Leviticus Chapter 19). In this Parsha, with the opening instruction to be holy, there are 51 commandments, most dealing with the most mundane circumstances.  Our Kabbalah masters explain that holiness isn’t found by distancing ourselves from the material, but on the contrary – spirituality is found when one fulfills […]

When We Are Silent

In response to the death of his two sons, when Moses comforts Aaron, the Torah describes Aaron’s acknowledgement of what happened: וידם אהרן, “And Aaron was silent.”  Aaron was silent. With Yom Hashoah Ve-Hagevurah – Day of (Remembrance of) the Holocaust and the Bravery this week, and Yom HaZikaron – Israeli Memorial Day next week, […]

Higher Together

King Solomon teaches in Proverbs (18:21): “Mavet v’hayyim beyad lashon” – “Death and life are in the hand of the tongue.” Last week’s Parshah described the signs of the Metzora—a person afflicted by a spiritual malady for talking slander, which places them in a state of ritual impurity. This week’s Torah reading details how the […]

We bless the new month of Nissan that begins next Shabbat, this weekend. The month of Nissan is the Month of Redemption. There is a beautiful practice that during the month of Nissan we recite a blessing when we see the budding fruit trees that start to bloom (Birkat Ha’Ilanot). Life has many beautiful and […]