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Restoring the Lost

Parashat Ki Tetze (Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19)

Parashat Ki Tetze contains a plethora of laws ranging from managing the spoils of war to sexual immorality to fulfilling vows and oaths. Our focus will be on the responsibility of guarding a lost object. At the beginning of chapter 22 we read:

The Age Of The Anti-Hero

Parashat Shoftim | Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9

We live in the age of the antihero. If you’re not familiar with the term, this is the protagonist of a story whose life doesn’t really have the expected qualities of a hero. Usually, their motivations are self-centered and their morality is all but absent, yet we cheer them on. Some recent examples of this are characters like Jack Sparrow, The Punisher, Deadpool, etc. Currently, the antihero is one of the most popular character archetypes in storytelling because fans identify with them.

Erasing The Name of God

Parashat Re'eh Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17

As we have seen many times previously, the Torah has many levels of understanding as well as application. This week’s portion is no exception. Toward the beginning of our reading we learn of the LORD’s command to the Israelites to obliterate the idols and the high places of the Canaanites when they enter the land given to their ancestors:

The God of Second Chances

Parashat Ekev - Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25

Sometimes we wonder why things happen the way they do. Why do things have to go terribly wrong before they can be made right? Why do things have to break before we tend to them the way we should have in the first place? In this week’s parashah we are reminded of this very fact. As Moses is recounting to the Israelites the various events leading up to their present situation, he recalls the story of the original giving of the Asaret Had’varim, the Ten Sayings (also known as the Ten Commandments):

Shining The Light Of Torah

Va'etchanan (Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11)

When most people think of “the Law of Moses,” they don’t get warm fuzzies. But God’s people shouldn’t be like most people. According to this week’s Torah portion, God’s people should be the exception to the rule. We should have a connection with the Torah deep within our hearts. Through Moses, God told the Children of Israel that, when they took His commandments seriously and lived them out, the nations would recognize this and praise God:

The Holy War of Love

Parashat Matto — Numbers 30:2-32:42

At the turn of the 20th century, the fifth Rabbi of Chabad, Rabbi Sholom DovBer Schneersohn—the Rashab—developed a teaching based on a few small and seemingly insignificant verses from this week’s Torah portion. He eventually published this teaching in a booklet entitled, Heichaltzu. The focus of the entire teaching was on love toward one’s fellow and was eventually republished in English under the title, Ahavat Israel: A Path to True Unity. Oddly enough, the premise of the entire work is founded on the following passage:

Adding To The Scriptures?

Parashat Mattot-Massei: Numbers 30:2-36:13

Many people take objection to the concept of rabbinic authority and the corpus of Jewish law, which includes the Mishnah and Talmud. They see these rabbinic works as “adding” manmade laws to the Scriptures, because indeed they contain countless laws that do not seem to appear in the Scriptures themselves. Therefore, these rabbinic works are seen as violating one of the primary principles of Scripture, to not add to the Scripture. The prooftext for this prohibition is found in Deuteronomy:

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