MTL

Parshas Re’eh – Doing What’s Good and What’s Right

“I don’t care what anyone else thinks, I do what I know is right!” Ever come across someone with this attitude? Have any friends or relatives like that? Strong minded. Not easily swayed by trends and fads. A person of principle. While such people are usually not exactly the warm and fuzzy types, making them …

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Parshas Chukas – Cast Your Bread Upon the Water

“Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it” (Koheles 11:1). In this week’s Torah portion, we find the Jewish people, in their fortieth year of wandering through the desert, arriving at an area called Kadesh and realizing that there is no water to be found. They are (understandably) not …

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Parshas Emor – Don’t Worry, Be Happy

What is the most difficult mitzvah in the Torah? Fasting on Yom Kippur? No Oreos for eight days on Passover? No texting for 25 hours on Shabbos? Surprisingly, some commentaries say that the most difficult is the one, found in this week’s Torah portion, commanding us to rejoice on the festivals. Because happiness is serious business, with …

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Parshas Vayikrah – Of Course Animal Sacrifice Seems Barbaric and Pagan, That’s Why We Pray for Its Return!

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz recently penned an open “letter to Hashem (G-d)”, asking why we pray for a third Temple that will include animal sacrifice. I will be bold enough to assume that he has not yet received what the Kabbalists refer to as a piska min shimaya – a miraculous letter from Heaven – in response. But that’s …

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Parshas Vayikra – The Little Aleph That Could

“What should a person do to live? He should kill himself! And what should a person do to die? He should enliven himself!” This enigmatic Talmudic passage begs for interpretation. Life is death and death is life? Were the Rabbis giving suicide advice or encouraging a morbid or nihilistic outlook on life, G-d forbid? Of …

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