Exodus (Shmot)

Vaera 5772 — Hardening of the Heart

January 18, 2012

 For this week, I tried my hand at doing a video version of my d’var Torah. The text version is available at the Americans for Peace Now web site, click here to read it. Please leave comments if you like the video format.  I’m sure production values would improve with more practice. Reb Barry...
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Pekudei 5771: The importance of integrity and transparency

March 4, 2011

Why would Moses, surely one of the most righteous people who ever lived, require a detailed accounting for the donations made to build the tabernacle? This week’s Torah reading, Pekudei, starts out with Moses commanding an accounting of all the materials that had been donated to build the tabernacle.  Most of the rest of...
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Ki Tisa 5771: The Land and Idol Worship

February 18, 2011
Ki Tisa 5771: The Land and Idol Worship

“Justice, justice shall you pursue” The Torah commands us to behave justly. It’s not enough to follow the strict letter of the law if that would lead to an injustice. I was at the site of the unrecognized Bedouin village of El Arakib today. The Jewish National Fund and the State of Israel have...
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Tetzaveh 5771: The Oil of Refuge

February 11, 2011

 ”And you shall command the people of Israel, that they bring you pure beaten oil olive for the light, for the lamp to burn always.”  Exodus 27:20 Olive oil has always been an important substance in this part of the world, providing light, and also providing sensuous pleasure to skin dried out by the...
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No Car, No Sheep

January 27, 2011
No Car, No Sheep

 A bit over two years ago, I reported how my car was stolen on Yom Kippur.  Amazingly, we got the car back, damaged and “smelling bad” from being filled with stolen sheep.  The car was recovered with said sheep inside.  I even posted a complete set of pictures. Bringing our car was like bringing a bit...
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Bo 5771 — Moses, Pharaoh, and Wikileaks

January 7, 2011
Bo 5771 — Moses, Pharaoh, and Wikileaks

Moses is the premier example of a diplomat in the Torah.  As we see in not only this week’s Torah reading, but the last few weeks, Moses is serving as an Ambassador for God.  God is the “Chief Executive Officer” of the Jewish people; Moses represents the “government” in negotiations with the Egyptians. It’s...
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