Matos – The Value of Life

And Bilaam the son of Beor they killed with the sword.[1]”  It would seem that the death of Bilaam Harasha was a punishment for his efforts to harm Klal Yisroel in the desert. The Gemara, however, cites a far earlier crime that he committed as the reason for

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Parsha Matos – Sister Switch

“And the Children of Gad and Reuven came and said to Moshe and Elazar the Kohen and the leaders of the congregation… Give us that land, force us not to cross the Jordan.” Bamidbar 32:2,5 Strangely enough, the tribes of Reuven, Gad, and a portion of the

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Parshas Matot

Topics covered in this class: Vows and the power of speech. The war against Midian. The tribes of Reuven, Gad and Menashe Vows and the power of speech. The concept of vows – prohibiting that which is permissible. Rosh Hayeshiva: “say what you mean and mean what

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Parshas Matot/Masay

The Mishna in Pirkei Avot asks a question: who is the rich man? The answer to this question appears to be quite obvious. Whoever has the biggest balance in his bank account is the richest man. It is a purely quantifiable question. The Mishna answers however, that

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Parshas Matot

Based on Rav Noah Weinberg It is the night of Yom Kippur. Jewish people all over the world are gathered in shul to hear Kol Nidre. It is a moment of intensity as the chazzan slowly begins the melodic chant so familiar to us all. But how many of

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Parshas Pinchas – The True Kano’us

Author: Rabbi Yehonasan Gefen The parsha begins with Hashem rewarding Pinchas greatly for his act of zealousness in killing Zimri and Cozbi.  Pinchas was from the tribe of Levi whilst Zimri was from the tribe of Shimon.  This is not the first time in the Torah that these two

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Parshas Pinchas

Give War a Chance By Rabbi Bourch Leff “War is a crime against humanity.” “There is no such thing as a justified war.” These are statements from pacifists. “Pacifism: Opposition to the use of force under any circumstances; refusal for reasons of conscience to participate in war or

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Parshas Pinchas

Topics covered in this class: Pinchas as a continuation of Balak. Pinchas’ zealousness. Man’s effect on the Hashgacha. Sanctifying G-d vs. saving the people. The Daughters of Tzelfchad. Continuation of Bilaam. Explain why Bilaam was so threatened by the Jewish people. Balak finally figures out a way

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Parshas Pinchas

Based on Rav Noah Weinberg In this week’s Torah portion we see something familiar to us all, as G-d instructs Moses in the service of the many Jewish holidays. In our youth and even today, the cycle of celebration and commemoration seem a comforting reminder of our

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Parsha Balak – Living for Hashem

Chazal tell us that Bilaam harasha had incredible powers of prophecy which in some ways were even greater than those of Moshe Rabbeinu.  Yet, at the same time, he possessed numerous bad midos.  How can these two opposite factors come together in one man?  The answer is that Bilaam never

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Parshas Balak – True Kingship

Malchus of Hashem The gemara[1] states that Hashem exhibits His wrath for only one particular, passing moment every day. Throughout history, says the gemara, only one person has ever been able to calculate the precise second of the day at which this occurs, and that person was Bilaam. Bilaam’s success in cursing the Jewish

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Parsha Balak – Money and Honor

Bilaam Harasha is considered to be the archetype of a person with bad midos.  The Mishna in Avos describes him as having an ‘ayin raah’ (he looked upon people in a negative way), a ‘ruach gevoah’ (he was arrogant), and a ‘nefesh rechava[1]‘ (he was greedy). ‘Nefesh Rechava’

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Parshas Balak

Topics covered in this class: I. Being a prophet yet denying G-d. II. You are led in a way that you want to go. Being a prophet, yet denying G-d Who was Bilaam? At the end of Deuteronomy, chapter 33:10, “a prophet like Moshe amongst the Jewish

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Parsha Balak: Bilaam

Bilaam Rav Yaakov Weinberg ZTL asked the following question. Rashi brings the Chazal that says: Why is is that Hashem gave prophecy to Bilaam? Because He did notwant the goyim to have a complaint. The goyim would say, it’s easy to see why the Jews are so righteous. They have

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Parsha Chukas

The Parsha begins “this is the chok of the Torah” and proceeds to discuss the laws of Parah Adumah (the red heifer), a mitzvo which is impossible to understand according to human logic.  The Ohr HaChaim Hakadosh asks why this mitzvo is called the ‘chok of the Torah’, it would have

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