Category Archives: Torah Sedar

Vayetze | ויצא | “He went out ” Torah: Genesis 28:10-32:2

Parashat Va’yetzeh

How does one water the sheep when a great stone is in the way? How do the nations drink from the well when there is no Rabbi to teach them the way of Torah? There are many secrets that must be revealed in this weeks Torah portion and only Chazal have the answers. Their students are waiting for the sheep to gather and in the meantime, many Rabbi’s are watering them from the well and there they are kissing each other and bring chesed to the world.

Genesis 28 – 32 Beit El

י וַיֵּצֵ֥א יַעֲקֹ֖ב מִבְּאֵ֣ר שָׁ֑בַע וַיֵּ֖לֶךְ חָרָֽנָה׃

יאוַיִּפְגַּ֨ע בַּמָּק֜וֹם וַיָּ֤לֶן שָׁם֙ כִּי־בָ֣א הַשֶּׁ֔מֶשׁ וַיִּקַּח֙ מֵאַבְנֵ֣י הַמָּק֔וֹם וַיָּ֖שֶׂם מְרַֽאֲשֹׁתָ֑יו וַיִּשְׁכַּ֖ב בַּמָּק֥וֹם הַהֽוּא׃

יב וַֽיַּחֲלֹ֗ם וְהִנֵּ֤ה סֻלָּם֙ מֻצָּ֣ב אַ֔רְצָה וְרֹאשׁ֖וֹ מַגִּ֣יעַ הַשָּׁמָ֑יְמָה וְהִנֵּה֙ מַלְאֲכֵ֣י אֱלֹהִ֔ים עֹלִ֥ים וְיֹרְדִ֖ים בּֽוֹ׃

Toldot | תולדות | “Consequences”

Parashat Toldot

Is being blind such a bad thing? Can we assume that Yitzach made so many bad decision? Who is Yitzach and what was his motivation in our Jewish history? Yitzach was an expert in finding water where there seems to be no water. Have you ever have seen a man who digs in the rocky desert for water? Yitzach was a great man of strength to dig for the answers of life and the deep waters of Torah. So being blind can help sharpen one’s senses if you are sensitive to Hashem’s ways.

Sometimes having your eye open can lead to doing Hashem’s will.

Genesis 3: 7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; they sewed fig-leaves together, and made themselves girdles. 8And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden toward the cool of the day; and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. 9And the LORD God called unto the man, and said unto him: ‘Where art thou?’

Can you see where you are? Faith is knowing what your eyes do not see and not knowing what your eyes do see. Faith is not blind. 

Genesis 25 – 28

יט וְאֵ֛לֶּה תּוֹלְדֹ֥ת יִצְחָ֖ק בֶּן־אַבְרָהָ֑ם אַבְרָהָ֖ם הוֹלִ֥יד אֶת־יִצְחָֽק׃

כ וַיְהִ֤י יִצְחָק֙ בֶּן־אַרְבָּעִ֣ים שָׁנָ֔ה בְּקַחְתּ֣וֹ אֶת־רִבְקָ֗ה בַּת־בְּתוּאֵל֙ הָֽאֲרַמִּ֔י מִפַּדַּ֖ן אֲרָ֑ם אֲח֛וֹת לָבָ֥ן הָאֲרַמִּ֖י ל֥וֹ לְאִשָּֽׁה׃

Parashat Hayei Sarah

Chayei Sarah | חיי שרה | “Sarah’s life “
And Yitzchak said to Avraham his father, and he said, “My father,” and he said, “Here I am, my son.” And he said, “Here is the fire, and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” And Avraham said, “God will provide Himself a lamb for the burnt offering.” And they went, both of them, together. (Bereishit 22:7-8)
Life is so very short and yet the days can seem to last for an eternity with no hope in sight. So many ups and downs in this life, who can make sense of them all?
Yitzchak’s life was so short it seems. Yet, he outlived all the Patriarchs. Yitzach was 180 old when he went to sleep with our forefathers. There are only five chapters devoted to Yitzchak’s life compared to Abraham and Ya’accov’s lives. Avraham 13 chapters and Ya’accov 20 chapters.
How can a life seem, so short, and yet, be so long? The pains of life can be as a fire and the counsel of men can be as crackling wood in the fire. The flames of this life can seem to be overwhelming at times. So, how can one walk through this fire and not be burned?
How can I see the fire and the wood and yet trust that everything is going to be good?
Know that my Torah is like a fire that brings you warmth in the cold and as a flaming fire that goes before you in the times of trouble and anguish to make you bold before the enemy. Trust that my (Hashem’s) counsel is superior to your wisdom and the counsel of fools. For the Torah is a flame and the tree of life to those who hold on to it and all its path are peace. And like Rivkah, the ewe/ lamb was found watering the camels until they had all drank from (Mayim Hayim)  living waters, so may your soul be quenched in this day as we are lead by Hashem.
Nechama Leibowitz offers an interesting interpretation of a verse from the consolation of Yishayahu: “While those who wait upon God will renew their strength; they will rise up with wings like eagles, they will run and not be weary; they will walk and not faint” (Yishayahu 40:31):
This verse raises a question: as we know, the general rule in Tanakh is that the two parallel parts of a verse proceed from the lighter form or scenario to the more intensive one. Thus, this verse should read, “They will walk and not faint, [and even if] they will run – they will not be weary.” Why, then, is the order here reversed?
In moments when we are raised up on waves of enthusiasm, we are all capable of one-time acts of heroism. We are able to elevate ourselves to great heights; we can gallop forwards. It is far more difficult to fulfill one’s daily obligations, to follow the beaten track even after the initial excitement has worn off, when the glorious glow of the vision has grown dim, when we encounter challenges and obstacles. It is difficult to remain consistently steadfast in the face of all of this without tiring. Therefore, the order of the verse is correct: “They will run [with galloping enthusiasm] and not be weary,” but even when they have to walk, to continue, without racing, “they will not be faint.” (Nechama Leibowitz, Daf le-Tarbut Yehudit11, Tevet 5734)
Continue to walk chaverim carrying the fire and the wood of Hashem and let us go together as one and may Hashem find the Rivkah/lamb in you that will not faint at watering the world.
Parashat Hayei Sarah
Genesis 23 – 25
א וַיִּהְיוּ֙ חַיֵּ֣י שָׂרָ֔ה מֵאָ֥ה שָׁנָ֛ה וְעֶשְׂרִ֥ים שָׁנָ֖ה וְשֶׁ֣בַע שָׁנִ֑ים שְׁנֵ֖י חַיֵּ֥י שָׂרָֽה׃
ב וַתָּ֣מָת שָׂרָ֗ה בְּקִרְיַ֥ת אַרְבַּ֛ע הִ֥וא חֶבְר֖וֹן בְּאֶ֣רֶץ כְּנָ֑עַן וַיָּבֹא֙ אַבְרָהָ֔ם לִסְפֹּ֥ד לְשָׂרָ֖ה וְלִבְכֹּתָֽהּ׃
ג וַיָּ֙קָם֙ אַבְרָהָ֔ם מֵעַ֖ל פְּנֵ֣י מֵת֑וֹ וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר אֶל־בְּנֵי־חֵ֖ת לֵאמֹֽר׃

Parshat HaShavua Vayera | וירא | “He appeared “

Parashat Va’yera

Genesis 18 – 22

א וַיֵּרָ֤א אֵלָיו֙ יְהוָ֔ה בְּאֵלֹנֵ֖י מַמְרֵ֑א וְה֛וּא יֹשֵׁ֥ב פֶּֽתַח־הָאֹ֖הֶל כְּחֹ֥ם הַיּֽוֹם׃
ב וַיִּשָּׂ֤א עֵינָיו֙ וַיַּ֔רְא וְהִנֵּה֙ שְׁלֹשָׁ֣ה אֲנָשִׁ֔ים נִצָּבִ֖ים עָלָ֑יו וַיַּ֗רְא וַיָּ֤רָץ לִקְרָאתָם֙ מִפֶּ֣תַח הָאֹ֔הֶל וַיִּשְׁתַּ֖חוּ אָֽרְצָה׃

Many times in our lives Hashem presence is overwhelming and many times it seems to be hidden from us. How do we hear from Hashem? Where can we find the right path and the right direction? Who should we listen to? Seeing is a key to hearing. Learn to see.

Shabbat: “VaYishlach Moshe” – “And Moses Sent”

Tishri 24, 5775 Shabbat: “VaYishlach Moshe” – “And Moses Sent”

Rosh HaShana 16a MISHNAH. AT FOUR SEASONS [DIVINE] JUDGMENT IS PASSED ON THE
WORLD:11 AT PASSOVER IN RESPECT OF PRODUCE; AT PENTECOST IN RESPECT OF FRUIT;
AT NEW YEAR ALL CREATURES PASS BEFORE HIM [GOD] LIKE CHILDREN OF MARON, 12 AS
IT SAYS, ‘HE THAT FASHIONETH THE HEART OF THEM ALL, THAT CONSIDERETH ALL THEIR
DOINGS’;13 AND ON TABERNACLES JUDGMENT IS PASSED IN RESPECT OF RAIN.
The prayer for dew is said in the Mussaf Amidah on the first day of Pesach;14 the prayer for rain is said in the
Mussaf Amidah on Shemini Atzeret,15 which is also the last day of Succoth, and also the day on which the stores of
dew in heaven were opened.16 There is one difference between our prayer for dew and our prayer for rain: We start
praying for rain at the end of the holiday of Shemini Atzeret, but for dew at the beginning of the holiday of Pesach.
Sephardic practice is a little different. We hesitate to interrupt the Amidah for any purpose, so rain and dew are
recited just before the silent Mussaf Amidah. This pattern is norm in Israel for all but Hasidic congregations.
Sephardic practice also varies from Ashkenazi by replacing “the rain to fall and the wind to blow” with “You cause
the dew to fall” to thank HaShem for dew in summer months.

 

Shabbat: “V’Qach Meitam Mateh” – “And take of them a rod”

Ellul 25, 5774 Shabbat: “V’Qach Meitam Mateh” –“And take of them a rod”

 

What then will we say that Abraham, our ancestor according to the flesh, has found? For if Abraham was justified by his personal attempts to please God (works), he would have something to boast about, but not even Abraham could boast before God.36 For what does the scripture say?37 “And Abraham faithfully obeyed God, and as a result Abraham called Him (God) a Tsaddiq (just).”38 Now the one who earns his wages does not rely on chesed, but he relies on what he has earned.39 But to the one who does not make personal attempts to please God apart from of what the Torah commands, but who trusts in the One who justifies (forgives) the those who sin,40 His (God’s) faithfulness is attributed as justice, just as David also speaks about the blessing of the person to whom God credits righteousness apart from personal achievements:

Shabbat: “V’Qach Meitam Mateh” – “And take of them a rod”

Ellul 25, 5774

015-015-moses-gives-aaron-the-priesthood-full Moses and Aaron The Ark

 

COMMENTARY TO HAKHAM SHAUL’S SCHOOL OF REMES

TEXTUAL ANALYSIS

As is the usual case Hakham Shaul’s words are always controversial and most often misunderstood.

Abraham and the Flesh: The question of how to interpret this phrase is a matter of understanding. Most Christian scholars want to use this as a weapon against “works.” However, the statement is simply speaking of Abraham as the natural progenitor of the Jewish people. Furthermore, there is a connection in the idea that Abraham would be the “blessing” of all the families of the earth, which we will see below

G-d is the Tsaddiq: We have cited Gaston60 in the footnotes above. We do not intend to replicate his argument here. Suffice it to say, that Gaston relies on the work and translation of the Ramban concerning exactly who the “righteous/generous” one is. Gaston’s work cites the following material from the Ramban’s work.

B’resheet (Gen) 15:6 AND HE BELIEVED IN THE ETERNAL; AND HE ACCOUNTED IT TO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS.61

Rashi’s explanation is: The Holy One, blessed be He, accounted it to Abraham for righteousness and merit because of the faith with which he had trusted in Him.

 

Shabbat: “Ki Tabou. El Erets” – “Until when will despise Me”

Ellul 11, 5774 Shabbat: “Ki Tabou. El Erets” – “Until when will despise Me”

Who took you out I redeemed you on condition you accept My decrees upon yourselves. -[Sifrei Shelach ]73

Who took you out I redeemed you on condition you accept My decrees upon yourselves. -[Sifrei Shelach ]73

I am the Lord, your God Why is this repeated? So that the Israelites should not say, “Why did the Omnipresent say this? Was it not so that we should perform [the commandments] and receive reward? We will not perform [them] and not receive reward!” [Therefore, God says,] “I am your King, even against your will.” Similarly, it says, “[As I live, says the Lord God,] surely with a strong hand…will I reign over you” (Ezek. .)20:33Another interpretation: Why is the exodus from Egypt mentioned? It was I who distinguished between the drop [of sperm] of a firstborn and of that which was not of a firstborn. So in future will I distinguish and punish those who attach indigo-dyed [fringes, which is extracted from a vegetable] to their garments, claiming that it is sky-blue [dye extracted from the chillazon .]-[B.M. 61b] From the commentary of R. Moshe Hadarshan [the preacher] I transcribed [the following:]
So Scripture says in Ezra (Neh. ,9:13-14which is strictly part of Ezra. See Rashi on Neh. ,)1:1 “You descended upon Mount Sinai… and you gave Your people the Law and the commandments (sic). And Your holy Sabbath You made known to them.”on the corners of their garments Corresponding to [the verse said in connection with the exodus from Egypt] “I carried you on the wings ֵּפי( ְּנ ַכ )of eagles” (Exod. .)19:4On the four corners, but not on a garment of three or five [corners].

BS”D (B’Siyata D’Shamaya)‎ Aramaic: With the help of Heaven

(Exod. .)6:6-7 -[Mid. Aggadah]

[This] corresponds to the four expressions of redemption that were said in Egypt: “I will take you out…I will save you…I will redeem you…I will take you” a thread of sky- blue [wool]

Ketubim: Psalm 102:1-21

Heb. ֶלת ֵכ ְּת ִתיל ְּפ ,so called because of the bereavement [suffered by the Egyptians] over the loss of their firstborn. The Aramaic translation of ִשּכּול ,bereavement, is ְּכלא ִת[a word similar to Moreover,theplaguestruckthematnight,andthecolorof.]ְּתֵכֶלת,issimilartothecoloroftheskyְּתֵכֶלת which blackens at dusk; its eight threads symbolize the eight days that Israel waited from when they left Egypt until they sang the song at the [Red] Sea. -[Mid. Aggadah]

“Until when will despise Me”

Ellul 04, 5774a “Until when will despise Me”

There is no “redemption and atonement” apart from the gift of G-d, i.e. the Torah. Redemption and atonement cannot be produced without obedience to the “Oracles of G-d” i.e. The Oral Torah. When we read of the “works of the Torah/Nomos,” we need some clarity as to what “works” are being discussed. The proper way to understand the phrase “works” in the present conversation on Adam and Chavah’s covering themselves with “fig leaves” is, as we have stated “human attempts to please God.” If we accept that, no human works devoid of the Torah can please G-d we have a perfect understanding of Hakham Shaul’s intention in the Igeret to the Romans below. In other words, when we hermeneutically understand these words aright, we understand that we must join G-d’s gift of the Torah with the idea of “being made whole” (redemption). Works that men contrive or imagine apart from the Torah can NEVER produce “redemption,” bring a man to “spiritual wholeness” or bring us into connection with G-d.

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Septennial (Shmita – שמיטה) Torah Cycle By Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David (Greg Killian)

Septennial (Shmita – שמיטה) Torah Cycle By Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David (Greg Killian)

“The object of the whole Torah is that man should become a Torah himself.”[1]

“Every living soul is a letter of the Torah, wherefore all souls taken together make up the Torah.”[2]

The Triennial Torah cycle is a miraculous way of  reading the Torah, in three and a half year, that provides a prophetic insight into the events that will happen during the week that it is read!

The Septennial (Shmita) Torah cycle is twothree and a half year periods. This seven year Torah reading schedule matches the Sabbatical cycle described in the Torah.[3]