CategoryShemos

Tetzaveh: Archaeology vs. Tradition

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The Jewish people have traditions dating back thousands of years which outline the specific form and format of our traditions. What if archeologists find contradictory evidence? Do we change our rituals or do we not?

Terumah: The Power of the Palpable

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Abraham planted cedars in Beer-Sheba, Jacob transplanted them to Egypt, and the Israelites took them along into the desert.
Why were we dragging cedars for four-hundred years? And what does it tell us about “being Jewish at heart”?

Yitro: Leadership of Love

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Some religious leaders speak derogatorily about others. How did G-d respond to such behavior? What did Rabbi Eliezer do when faced with a similar situation? What did the Rebbe say?

Bo: Why Do Rabbis Make Rules?

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Throughout Jewish history, the rabbis have enacted takanot, or Rabbinic ordinances, to safeguard Jewish observance. Shabbat begins at sundown? The sages extend it by eighteen minutes. The evening Shema must be recited by sunrise? The rabbis said midnight.
Where did they learn this behavior? Why are the Torah’s commands not enough?

Va’era: Jewish Genius

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Until two hundred years ago, eighty percent of the world’s population was illiterate. The statistic among the Jewish population was the opposite: Eighty percent could read and write. How can we explain the difference? Insight into the age-old Jewish approach to education.

Shemot: The Advisors’ Dilemma

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When Pharaoh suggested to drown the newborns, what were his advisors to do? Object and face the consequences, or agree and work with the circumstances?
When faced with a moral dilemma, do you make do with the situation or take a principled stand?
A fascinating lesson from Bilaam, Job and Jethro.

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