Family Parsha Parshat Beshalach: Keeping Hope – aish.com

SThe most important thing to remember when things look hopeless is not to give up hope! In this week’s Torah portion, the Jewish people were in a hopeless situation if there ever was one: They were being chased by the strong, murderous Egyptian army and were backed up against a raging sea with …

Between the Lines Parshat Masay: Focus in the Exile

Greetings from the holy city of Jerusalem! This week’s parsha, Masei, describes the journeys of the Jewish people during their 40 years in the desert. These wanderings from place to place are as a lesson about the transience and temporality of life in this world. According to the Degel Machaneh …

1 Minute Vort on the Parsha Parshat Mishpatim: Don’t Wait …

If you take your fellow’s garment as security, until sunset shall you return it to him. …so it will be that if he cries out to Me, I shall listen, for I am compassionate. (Ex. 22:25-26) The Torah commands us to lend money to our fellow Jews. If the borrower does not repay, the lender may ask the …

What’s Bothering Rashi? Parshat Parshat Zachor: It Was …

This Shabbat, a week before Purim, is Shabbat Zachor, when we remember what Amalek did to our forefathers when they left Egypt. Haman, the villain of the Megillah, was a descendant of Amalek. Let us examine a Midrash from the Midrash devoted to the Megillah – Esther Rabbah (taken from the recently …

Family Parsha Parshat Emor: Coping with Loss

It is natural for someone who experiences a loss of something important in his life to feel sad, and to mourn over what he has lost. However, sooner or later the time comes for a person to pick himself up, and begin to enjoy his life again. This week’s Torah portion instructs the Kohanim, the …

Family Parsha Parshat Vayeshev: Reaching Out

When we see that someone is feeling down, we should reach out and try to pick him up. In this week’s Torah portion (40:6-7) Joseph noticed that his roommates in prison were feeling very low and sad. He asked them what was wrong and tried to help, and by doing so, he himself was eventually freed from …

Family Parsha Parshat Naso: Being Honest – aish.com

Honesty is a tricky business. Sometimes things that at first seem honest don’t appear quite as clean when we give them a second look. This week’s portion (5:6-8) tells us about how God wants us to be honest and avoid stealing of any sort. This even includes the “little” things that people can fool …

Covenant & Conversation Parshat Vayeira: Walking Together

There is one image that haunts us across the millennia, fraught with emotion. It is the image of a man and his son walking side-by-side across a lonely landscape of shaded valleys and barren hills. The son has no idea where he is going and why. The man, in pointed contrast, is a maelstrom of emotion …

Family Parsha Parshat V’etchanan: Never Give Up Hope

Sometimes things may seem so hard we feel like giving up. But the Torah teaches us that even then … we should hang on. In our Torah portion, Moses asked God to let him move into the land of Israel with the rest of the Jewish people. God had already told him that he wouldn’t be allowed into the …

M’oray Ha’Aish Parshat Vayechi: The Death of Jacob

It’s the end of an era. This Torah portion differs from the ones we have examined thus far. The beginning of the other portions is generally delineated by a new paragraph or at least an indentation in the text of the hand-written Torah scroll, but this portion is satum, “closed.” Rashi quotes the …

Family Parsha Parshat Mikeitz: Holding Onto Our Dreams

This week the Torah takes us into the world of dreams. We see Joseph’s childhood dreams coming to fruition after many years. We learn of Pharaoh’s prophetic dreams, and how Joseph’s skilled interpretations of them averted a worldwide famine. There are many types of dreams. We all have dreams and …

Torah Teasers Parshat Va’eira – aish.com

In this parsha, the ashes that Moshe threw skyward to initiate the plague of boils were taken from a furnace (Exodus 9:8, 10). Elsewhere, in parshas Vayera, following the destruction of Sodom, smoke rose from the city as if rising from a furnace (Genesis 19:28).

Family Parsha Parshat Shmot: Thinking of Others

When things are going well for us, we shouldn’t close a blind eye to others who aren’t so fortunate. Moses grew up as a prince in the house of the Egyptian king and didn’t have to suffer the cruel slavery which Pharaoh imposed on the rest of the Jewish people. But instead of comfortably ‘staying out …

Mile High Torah Parshat Lech Lecha: Inner Beauty

Rabbi Menachem Lehrfield is the Director of the Jewish Outreach Initiative, a bold initiative that is taking Denver by storm.. Rabbi Lehrfield received his M.Ed from Loyola University, Chicago and received two rabbinic ordinations from Yeshivas Beis Yisroel in Jerusalem and Rabbi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg, the former Cheif Justice of the Jerusalem High Court.

Family Parsha Parshat Bamidbar: Individuality On the Field

Every one of us is unique. Each person has his own special talents, tastes, and ways of expressing himself. Even groups of people who may seem alike at first glance are often quite a varied set of individuals. In this week’s Torah portion when Moses took a census of the entire Jewish nation, he was …

Family Parsha Parshat Shlach: Don’t Be Afraid – aish.com

We shouldn’t be intimidated. In this week’s Torah portion, instead of bravely entering the land of Israel as God had instructed them, the people became intimidated and lost out on a great opportunity. We shouldn’t let undue fear or lack of confidence stop us from reaching our goals. In our story, a …

Family Parsha Parshat V’etchanan: Let’s Play Fair

Our desire to get ahead and reach our goals can tempt us to act in a less than upright manner. Yet the Torah assures us that only by playing fair will we ever succeed in the long run. This week’s portion teaches, “…do what is good and fair in God’s eyes, so that it will be good for you” (Deut. 6 …

Family Parsha Parshat Devarim: Build Someone’s Dignity

This coming week we commemorate “Tisha b’Av,” the day set aside for mourning the tragic destruction of the ancient Holy Temple in Jerusalem, Judaism’s holiest site, as well as all later tragedies such as the Holocaust. Our sages teach about the event that led to the destruction of the Holy Temple. A …

Family Parsha Parshat Beshalach: Acting Cruel – aish.com

There’s nothing good about being mean. In this week’s portion we learn how the Amalekite nation attacked the Jewish people for no other reason than to be cruel and spiteful. They weren’t fighting over land, nor were there any previous fights between them. They simply wanted to harm and destroy. We …

Family Parsha Parshat Chukat: Don’t Be Selfish

When someone asks of us a favor, even one that we could easily do, sometimes we feel torn. We may want to be helpful, but something else inside tells us to hold back and save our time, energy, or property all for ourselves. In this week’s Torah portion, the Jewish people were on their way to the …