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…

Parasha Inspiration – Shmini

By Rabbi Steven Bernstein | April 17, 2020

For I am HaShem that brought you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your G-d; you shall therefore be holy, for I am holy. This is the law of the beast, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moves in the waters, and of every creature that swarms upon…

Parasha Inspiration – Tzav

By Rabbi Steven Bernstein | April 2, 2020

This week’s Torah portion, Tzav, continues with the instruction of the Kohayns on bringing the different types of offerings. The portion culminates in Leviticus chapter 8 with the Miluim, the installment of the Kohayns. In Yayikra chapter 7:11 and following, one specific type of sacrifice is discussed, the “peace” offering, the Shlamim. The reason this…

Parasha Inspiration – Vayikra

By Rabbi Steven Bernstein | March 26, 2020

This week, Shabbat HaChodesh, we begin the book of Vayikra. Vayikra is also called Torat Kohanim, instruction to the Priests. This can be a bit confusing because the Sifra, the Midrash Halacha regarding Vayikra, is also referred to as Torat Kohanim. One must simply determine which is being discussed from context. The connection between the…

Parasha Inspiration – Vayakhel-Pekudei

By Rabbi Steven Bernstein | March 19, 2020

Moses called the whole community of the children of Israel to assemble, and he said to them: “These are the things that the Lord commanded to make. Six days work may be done, but on the seventh day you shall have sanctity, a day of complete rest to the Lord; whoever performs work thereon [on…

Parasha Inspiration – Ki Tisa

By Rabbi Steven Bernstein | March 12, 2020

“And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed: Lord, Lord, compassionate and merciful G-d, Who is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in loving kindness and truth, preserving loving kindness for thousands, forgiving iniquity and rebellion and sin; yet He does not completely clear [of sin] He visits the iniquity of parents on…

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