Parasha Inspiration – Shoftim

By Rabbi Steven Bernstein | August 20, 2020

צֶ֥דֶק צֶ֖דֶק תִּרְדֹּ֑ף לְמַ֤עַן תִּֽחְיֶה֙ וְיָֽרַשְׁתָּ֣ אֶת־הָאָ֔רֶץ אֲשֶׁר־יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ נֹתֵ֥ן לָֽךְ: Justice, justice shall you pursue, that you may live and possess the land the Lord, your God, is giving you. Deuteronomy 16:20 This week’s portion contains one of the most important commandments in all of Torah. Interestingly, the commandment is translated in different ways.…

Parasha Inspiration – Re’eh

By Rabbi Steven Bernstein | August 14, 2020

עַשֵּׂ֣ר תְּעַשֵּׂ֔ר אֵ֖ת כָּל־תְּבוּאַ֣ת זַרְעֶ֑ךָ הַיֹּצֵ֥א הַשָּׂדֶ֖ה שָׁנָ֥ה שָׁנָֽה: וְאָֽכַלְתָּ֞ לִפְנֵ֣י | יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֗יךָ בַּמָּק֣וֹם אֲשֶׁר־יִבְחַר֘ לְשַׁכֵּ֣ן שְׁמ֣וֹ שָׁם֒ מַעְשַׂ֤ר דְּגָֽנְךָ֙ תִּֽירשְׁךָ֣ וְיִצְהָרֶ֔ךָ וּבְכֹרֹ֥ת בְּקָֽרְךָ֖ וְצֹאנֶ֑ךָ לְמַ֣עַן תִּלְמַ֗ד לְיִרְאָ֛ה אֶת־יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ כָּל־הַיָּמִֽים: וְכִֽי־יִרְבֶּ֨ה מִמְּךָ֜ הַדֶּ֗רֶךְ כִּ֣י לֹ֣א תוּכַל֘ שְׂאֵתוֹ֒ כִּֽי־יִרְחַ֤ק מִמְּךָ֙ הַמָּק֔וֹם אֲשֶׁ֤ר יִבְחַר֙ יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ לָשׂ֥וּם שְׁמ֖וֹ שָׁ֑ם כִּ֥י יְבָֽרֶכְךָ֖ יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶֽיךָ: וְנָֽתַתָּ֖ה בַּכָּ֑סֶף וְצַרְתָּ֤…

Parasha Inspiration – Eikev

By Rabbi Steven Bernstein | August 6, 2020

וְהָיָ֗ה אִם־שָׁמֹ֤עַ תִּשְׁמְעוּ֙ אֶל־מִצְו‍ֹתַ֔י אֲשֶׁ֧ר אָֽנֹכִ֛י מְצַוֶּ֥ה אֶתְכֶ֖ם הַיּ֑וֹם לְאַֽהֲבָ֞ה אֶת־יְהֹוָ֤ה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶם֙ וּלְעָבְד֔וֹ בְּכָל־לְבַבְכֶ֖ם וּבְכָל־נַפְשְׁכֶֽם: And it will be, if you hearken to My commandments that I command you this day to love the Lord, your God, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul… Deuteronomy 11:13 An essential part…

Parasha Inspiration – Devarim

By Rabbi Steven Bernstein | July 23, 2020

וָאֲצַוֶּה֙ אֶת־שֹׁ֣פְטֵיכֶ֔ם בָּעֵ֥ת הַהִ֖וא לֵאמֹ֑ר שָׁמֹ֤עַ בֵּֽין־אֲחֵיכֶם֙ וּשְׁפַטְתֶּ֣ם צֶ֔דֶק בֵּֽין־אִ֥ישׁ וּבֵֽין־אָחִ֖יו וּבֵ֥ין גֵּרֽוֹ: לֹֽא־תַכִּ֨ירוּ פָנִ֜ים בַּמִּשְׁפָּ֗ט כַּקָּטֹ֤ן כַּגָּדֹל֙ תִּשְׁמָע֔וּן לֹ֤א תָג֨וּרוּ֙ מִפְּנֵי־אִ֔ישׁ כִּ֥י הַמִּשְׁפָּ֖ט לֵֽאלֹהִ֣ים ה֑וּא וְהַדָּבָר֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר יִקְשֶׁ֣ה מִכֶּ֔ם תַּקְרִב֥וּן אֵלַ֖י וּשְׁמַעְתִּֽיו: And I commanded your judges at that time, saying, “Hear [disputes] between your brothers and judge justly between a man and his…

Parasha Inspiration – Matot-Masei

By Rabbi Steven Bernstein | July 16, 2020

זֶ֣ה הַדָּבָ֞ר אֲשֶׁר־צִוָּ֣ה יְהֹוָ֗ה לִבְנ֤וֹת צְלָפְחָד֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר לַטּ֥וֹב בְּעֵֽינֵיהֶ֖ם תִּֽהְיֶ֣ינָה לְנָשִׁ֑ים אַ֗ךְ לְמִשְׁפַּ֛חַת מַטֵּ֥ה אֲבִיהֶ֖ם תִּֽהְיֶ֥ינָה לְנָשִֽׁים: וְלֹֽא־תִסֹּ֤ב נַֽחֲלָה֙ לִבְנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל מִמַּטֶּ֖ה אֶל־מַטֶּ֑ה כִּ֣י אִ֗ישׁ בְּנַֽחֲלַת֙ מַטֵּ֣ה אֲבֹתָ֔יו יִדְבְּק֖וּ בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל: This is the word that the Lord has commanded regarding Zelophehad’s daughters. Let them marry whomever they please, but they shall marry only to…

Parasha Inspiration – Pinchas

By Rabbi Steven Bernstein | July 8, 2020

ד. וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהֹוָ֜ה אֶל־משֶׁ֗ה קַ֚ח אֶת־כָּל־רָאשֵׁ֣י הָעָ֔ם וְהוֹקַ֥ע אוֹתָ֛ם לַֽיהֹוָ֖ה נֶ֣גֶד הַשָּׁ֑מֶשׁ וְיָשֹׁ֛ב חֲר֥וֹן אַף־יְהֹוָ֖ה מִיִּשְׂרָאֵֽל: ה. וַיֹּ֣אמֶר משֶׁ֔ה אֶל־שֹֽׁפְטֵ֖י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל הִרְגוּ֙ אִ֣ישׁ אֲנָשָׁ֔יו הַנִּצְמָדִ֖ים לְבַ֥עַל פְּעֽוֹר: The Lord said to Moses, “Take all the leaders of the people and hang them before the Lord, facing the sun, and then the flaring anger of the…

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…

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