Parasha Inspiration – Chukat-Balak

By Rabbi Steven Bernstein | July 2, 2020

זֹ֚את חֻקַּ֣ת הַתּוֹרָ֔ה This is the Decree of the Torah. This week’s double portion begins with a unique statement in the Torah. This is THE decree. The term used here, chok, is translated in many ways: statute, decree, law, but none of these terms actually conveys the meaning of chok. It means, it is a…

Parasha Inspiration – Korach

By Rabbi Steven Bernstein | June 26, 2020

Who is rich? He who rejoices in his lot, as it is said: “You shall enjoy the fruit of your labors, you shall be happy and you shall prosper” (Psalms 128:2) – Pirkei Avot 4:1 In this week’s Torah portion, the Kohayns have already been installed (the Miluim) the Levites have been consecrated, and the…

Parasha Inspiration – Sh’lach

By Rabbi Steven Bernstein | June 19, 2020

But if a person should act highhandedly, whether he is a native born or a proselyte, he is blaspheming the Lord, and that soul shall be cut off from among its people. For he has scorned the word of the Lord and violated His commandment; that soul shall be utterly cut off for its iniquity…

Parasha Inspiration – Beha’alotcha

By Rabbi Steven Bernstein | June 11, 2020

Speak to the children of Israel saying, any person who becomes unclean from [contact with] the dead, or is on a distant journey, whether among you or in future generations, he shall make a Passover sacrifice for the Lord. In the second month, on the fourteenth day, in the afternoon, they shall make it; they…

Parasha Inspiration – Nasso

By Rabbi Steven Bernstein | June 4, 2020

HaShem said to Moshe, “Tell the people of Isra’el, ‘If a man’s wife goes astray and is unfaithful to him; that is, if another man goes to bed with her without her husband’s knowledge, so that she becomes impure secretly, and there is no witness against her, and she was not caught in the act;…

Parasha Inspiration – Bamidbar

By Rabbi Steven Bernstein | May 22, 2020

ADONAI said to Moshe, “Register all the firstborn males of the people of Isra’el a month old and over, and determine how many there are. Then you are to take the L’vi’im for me, ADONAI, in place of all the firstborn among the people of Isra’el, and the cattle of the L’vi’im in place of…

Parasha Inspiration – Behar-Bechukotai

By Rabbi Steven Bernstein | May 15, 2020

At the end of every seven years, you shall grant a release. In this is the manner of the release; every creditor who lends anything to his neighbor shall release it; he shall not exacted of his neighbor, or of his brother; because it is called Hashem’s release. – Deuteronomy 15:1-2             This week’s Torah…

Parasha Inspiration – Emor

By Rabbi Steven Bernstein | May 8, 2020

And the Lord said to Moses: Speak to the Kohanim, the sons of Aaron, and say to them: Let none [of you] defile himself for a dead person among his people except for his relative who is close to him, his mother, his father, his son, his daughter, his brother, and for his virgin sister…

Parasha Inspiration – Achrei Mot-Kedoshim

By Rabbi Steven Bernstein | April 30, 2020

This week’s double portion is a very familiar one. Achrei Mot is the Torah reading for the Shacharit service on Yom Kippur. It describes the Avodah, the temple service, of Yom Kippur. One of the larger tractates of Talmud, tractate Yoma, is dedicated to the temple service of this one day of the year. Yet…

Parasha Inspiration – Tazria-Metzora

By Rabbi Steven Bernstein | April 23, 2020

Last week’s portion, Shemini, ended with a discussion regarding being separated for Hashem. The discussion revolved around the idea of certain animals being food and other animals not being food. The differences are described using very specific terms, Tuma and Tahara, often translated as clean and unclean. Tuma, unclean, is the term used to describe…

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